I have to admit, while NYC is not my favorite city in the world (Chicago and Philadelphia and Boston trump it in my book, to name just a few), there is something novel about jet settin’ to The Big Apple and back for the day. I feel so cosmopolitan, hopping the train, getting off at Penn Station, hailing a cab or trotting a few blocks to my destination. Today I only whipped out the map once. Although I suppose I gave away our tourist-status when Melissa and I posed in front of the Macy’s and asked Mindi to take our picture.
No, we did not plan to wear matching coats. We just both have really good taste.
So yesterday I got up at dark-thirty so that I could be in NYC by 10:00 for the Bloggers Brunch hosted by Child’s Play Communications because this year I was asked to speak on a Blogger Panel on the topic of What Do Mommy Bloggers Want, where we supposedly offered “insights into the issues and trends that affect the momosphere today.” Most of the other panelists are old hats at this speaking gig, but this was only my second time behind a microphone. I have to say, while I was nervous and unsure that I could hold my own, I really enjoyed the experience.
Although when it all began, and the room was really quiet, and I found myself sitting between Stephanie and Liz with a big microphone in my face and the silent room full of people with pens and notepads staring at us, I had to quell the insatiable urge to giggle. But you will be happy to know that I managed to collect myself before the nervous laughter erupted. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE IF I HADN’T?
Once we got started, it was great fun, and I learned a lot from the other panelists. Here are a couple of insights that I appreciated. (I wish I had taken notes but unfortunately this is all from memory.)
Liz pointed out that when a publicist approaches a blogger for her personal blog, it’s like knocking on someone’s front door and asking to come into their home. I thought that was a great analogy.
Another comment from Liz that I appreciated: “Bloggers are not journalists.”
Effective pitches will be personal and relevant. The keyword here — relevant. I realize it creates a lot more work on the part of the PR company who is looking for bloggers to promote their product, but for those wanting to break into the social media landscape, it is crucial that they learn to approach bloggers this way.
I also want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Liz. We had never met before, but I’ve followed her Mom 101 blog since I was a newbie blogger back before sliced bread and high fructose corn syrup were invented, and it was fun to finally meet in person.
Kim from Mom in the City is a dear bloggy friend, and it was great to see her again. Her recent post on What a Mommy Blogger Doesn’t Want is a great resource for those who are looking for advice on that topic.
I met Debbie from Mamanista briefly at last year’s Bloggers Brunch, and it was nice to see her again. Yesterday she announced the launch of a new site called Bloganthropy.org, a site that “combines the power of social media with the resources of corporate giving.” The goal? “To connect companies and bloggers in order to make the world a better place.” I’m very excited to see what happens with this.
And it was fun seeing Melissa again. I’m pretty sure I’ve at least seen her at other events, although we may not have officially met before yesterday. She was able to offer perspective as both a journalist and a blogger, which was a valuable addition to the panel.
My perspective was definitely that of a personal blog, whereas the others all have more professional sites. The overall theme of the panel discussion kept coming back to this: the key to approaching bloggers as a publicist is to know the blog you are pitching. It was interesting that while we as a panel generally agreed on the issues, our points of view differed at times, based on the types of blogs we run. We all have different causes that are near and dear to our hearts, and we all have different personalities and styles of blogging.
As someone said (I think I’m quoting Liz again), it’s important to remember the “social” in social media. That actually sums it up quite nicely.
After the panel was finished, and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief, it was time for brunch, complete with mimosas. And there I got to reconnect with many of the bloggers I’ve gotten to know over the past couple of years — Kelsey, Stacie, Nicole, Mommy Niri, Shannon, Nicole, and I’m sure I’m forgetting someone.
I will include some of the best products I saw in my holiday gift ideas posts that are coming up, so I’m not going to share those here for fear of this being more of a novel than a blog post.
Even though speaking on the panel was exhilarating, and the lunch was delicious, and meeting up with blogger friends old and new was delightful (and yes, I’m finally out of superlatives), there is nothing quite like returning to the comfort of the suburbs and driving those familiar dark country roads in the quiet of my car and arriving at home to be greeted at the door by three excited children.
Last night I got a few extra-long snuggles from each of my girls, and at one point my youngest exclaimed, “Mommy, I missed you so bad!” Being a blogger is great fun, but there’s nothing quite like being a mommy.