Across the US each week Moms tap out their lives for all to read on their work PC's, their home laptops and their iPhones in the line at Starbucks. Whether it be their latest stroller purchase, to the problems with breastfeeding. However a a growing trend has been the way that big brands, REALLY big brands have spotted the potential impact of these mommy bloggers, and as such have begun to use them in some really interesting ways. Walmart's Eleven Mom's has been a particularly interesting example of mom's being put on the digital pedestal to become brand advocates, these 11, chosen by outreaching to the mom blogging community and on twitter and Facebook, the 12 elevenmom's (there's yankee logic for you) sit at the centre of the Walmart money saving proposition. The project has been highly successful, capitulating these mom's to at least local celebrity level, so much so that Walmart has launched a sister (no pun intended) project on it's Hispanic community site, both projects being backed up by an SMS holiday savings campaign.
Projects like the elevenmom's amongst many others from both corporate and consumers brands have taken the mommy blogger community to among the top of the social capital ladder, and no one is more acutely aware of this than the mom's themselves. So much so that PR's targeting these bloggers has generated some reticence among the community - with many mommy blogger setting up seperate blogs just to deal with the amount of product review requests they recieve, this is hardly surprising that the purist among the community are looking to get back to basics.
Aggregating mommy community site MomDot posted on July 13th declaring the inception of PR Blackout, which took place this week, as a mechanism to combat the PR community and appealing to the mom bloggers to return to roots:
MomDot is challenging bloggers to participate for one week in August in a PR BLACKOUT challenge where you do not blog ANY giveaways, ANY reviews, and Zero press releases. In fact, we dont want you to talk to PR at ALL that whole week. We want to see your blog naked, raw, and back to basics. Talk about your kids, your marriage, your college, your hopes, your dreams, your house and whatever you can come up with for one week.
I am not writing here to oppose nor endorse this week - if you are a mom blogger, blog on I say, do what you feel is best, however the reason for this post is far more about the interesting comparison between the Mommy blogger movement in the US and the Mum bloggers here in the UK. With massive conferences such as BlogHer to the communities like MomDot, the mommy blogger culture is being festered and encouraged to the heights where a PR blackout week is actually needed, but here in the UK the landscape is so much quieter that it seems to need more investigation. Community sites like mumsnet.com and mychild.co.uk are beginning to show that we are following down the US model, but at no where near the speed, and you have to wonder why?
Maybe we are being to British, maybe Mum's have less time on their hands, or maybe the privacy of the English population is being help closer to the preverbial bousoum, for now. Time and again we have seen many trends that developed in the US ever make that long tail leap across the pond, and this may well be the case with the mommy bloggers. We may never see the day that the mummy community rises up to drum on the doors of Tesco over the price of nappies, but if we do, the PR 2.0 world better watch out.