It's great to see brands engaging mombloggers on a professional level as spokespeople, content creators, consultants and more. I believe in the old truism that a rising tide floats all boats, so rather than complain that Brand A hired her instead of you, I believe it behooves us as a community to celebrate that person's success with the understanding that she's opening doors for others.
I witnessed a good example of this a couple of weeks ago when Audrey McClelland passed through Chicago as part of a TJ Maxx/Marshall's back-to-school* event. Audrey is known for being a stylish mom with an eye on fashion, as well as a mom with four young boys to clothe. If hers boys are anything like mine, which is to say adventurous and messy, she doesn't want to spend a lot on their school clothes.
Audrey was a great fit, and as an out-of-towner, her presence added to the "one show only" atmosphere. I didn't want to miss her on her quick visit, whereas, if the brand had simply invited me to an early morning breakfast in the city, I don't know that I would have joined in.
Audrey also did a great job; she not only related to and was accessible to the moms in the crowd, she stayed "on message" and, I thought, made a wonderful ambassador for the brand.
By contrast, when brands hire bloggers, but spin it differently, it doesn't work. I recently got a pitch from a brand that noted they had engaged a handful of Chicago's top mommybloggers for a project and thought I might want to post about it on my blog.
Wait a minute, I thought I was one of Chicago's top mommybloggers?!
That's what I wrote the PR rep, wishing that I could be as much of a smartass as The Bloggess is. But I don't channel her that well.
I received an explanation back, but that's not the issue. My concern was not who was or wasn't chosen, but rather how I was pitched. This was not the first pitch I've received that essentially says, "You are cool enough to pitch, but not cool enough to actually participate."
Behind the blog, behind the words on the screen, there's a girl who was picked last for the team, had her best friend asked out by the guy she was crushing on, or didn't get invited somewhere special.
(Wait, are you saying that's just me? Because I'm pretty certain it's not.)
Nobody likes to be reminded they are on the B-List.
But many people do like to support their friends.
Brands, choose your words wisely.