I recently attended an event, which for the sake of all companies involved, I’d rather not mention names, where a mommy blogger (event planner), organized this event at a store location. The event lured parents to pay a sizable fee to attend 2 hours of show and tell about baby products, in hopes that they would win a large prize. A product reviewer went through the list of baby products that were available and talked about each one at a time.
Here’s how it was all set up:
The event planner received donations of gifts from the manufacturers to be given away to the attendees. In return, the event planner promised to provide exposure of their products by inviting a number of parents to attend the event so the manufacturers’ products can be presented and featured to these parents. There were about 30 attendees present.
The store owner, who sold most of the products, was very disappointed at the results as well as the representatives of the product manufacturers who agreed to give their products away, thinking it would be represented well by the product reviewer.
I couldn’t really tell what the reviewer actually did wrong or whether or not she said anything bad, but it did cause a lot of ruckus in the back office. I knew the store owners personally and they were NOT happy. The representatives for the manufacturers were also very annoyed at the information that was being told about their products and used the words “nonsense,” “misrepresentation,” and even the common English term “rubbish.”
Later in the week, I asked the store owner exactly how she felt about events like this. Her comment was very shocking, “I feel like that might be the last time I’m going to trust another mommy blogger. This event planner has been causing a lot of bad blood in our industry and she will soon have her doors shut, because there are stores she’s visited that are more unhappy than we are. It’s getting everyone to start talking about what these mommy bloggers are doing and whether it’s actually helping or hurting our business. Many think that mommy bloggers are just about getting free stuff.”
I was shocked!
As a mommy blogger, I felt somewhat threatened by the possibility of being stereotyped in a such a hurtful way. I have heard of parent bloggers who have gotten so aggressive that it’s caused problems, but this store owner was talking about a few other companies who were talking amongst each other ABOUT mommy bloggers as a whole, because of one person.
There are many brands and many industries so it would take time and a lot of other “funny acts” before the mommy bloggers can disappear, but the idea that we are a part of a circle that companies might feel wrongly about, can be quite disturbing.
I know of many mommy bloggers who have worked tirelessly to help others out for absolutely no gain. We are all different and sadly, there will always be someone who will ruin it for the rest. However, I think it is important for us to look out for one another and remind ourselves that if we place ourselves in the position of promising representation, then it would be much more beneficial to keep in mind that their growth will also help us grow.
Of course this topic can go into multiple directions. Please feel free to comment.