I’m Not.

I see this all the time now.

“I’m PR friendly!”

Perky, isn’t it?

I go and look at the sites of the people who claim this loud and proud on their Twitter profiles, trying to figure out what makes someone ‘friendly’. As opposed to … unfriendly?

Does it mean you can’t ever swear on your blog?

Well, fine. But can you guarantee me that these people never swear in their every day lives? Never let the occasional F-bomb slip after dropping their grandmother’s precious china serving dish on the kitchen floor? Because if you agree to represent a brand, does it start and end at your blog?

Does it mean you can’t have any ‘questionable’ ads on your site?

I’m definitely guilty of that *cough* Toy with Me and Nipple Charms *cough*. I choose to run these ads because I like the ladies behind them. And I believe in the message of being sex positive. After all, most of us got to be moms by having sex, didn’t we? Are we supposed to deny our sexuality because we’re now moms? And yet some brands believe you can’t be both. A mom and a sexual being. How… interesting.

Does it mean you can’t write about controversial or hot-button topics?

Isn’t that part of what a blog is about? Our little space of the world to tell it like we see it. To be able to state our views loud and proud.  To prompt discussion.  And air our feelings.  Do we really have to abandon that to become PR friendly?

Housewife Im Not.It seems likes a lot of major brands want us to conform to the image of the perfect 1950’s housewife.

But that’s not my reality. That’s not who I am.

I am not a perfect mother. I am not a perfect wife. I am not a perfect blogger. I am not a perfect anything.

And in my imperfections I find beauty and the opportunity to learn and grow.

So, if being PR friendly means I have to create some false persona and project a sweet happy image to the world, then I think I’ll stay over here being unfriendly and true to who I am, instead.

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23 Responses to I’m Not.

  • Maria says:

    I dunno dude, Trisha at MomDot is one of the most PR friendly moms out there and she has always been 100% unapologetically HER. In every venue. Swear words, typos, brash opinions, whatever.

    SOME brands definitely aren’t willing to take a risk on bold personalities, but I really think for the most part when a brand works with a blogger they know what they’re getting in to. Or SHOULD know.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Maria,

    So what makes her PR friendly then?
    I guess I’m asking what that really means to say someone is ‘PR friendly’

    Maria Reply:

    @Jenn, Well she’s a businesswoman and actively establishes relationships with lots of brands. So I’m thinking that would be a definition.

    Or just open to relationships or open to receiving press releases.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Maria,

    OK, that’s interesting. Because I’ve always had a very different impression of the words ‘PR friendly’.
    I always took it to mean that they were saying there was nothing offensive-ish on their blogs/sites and so that’s what made them friendly.
    But your definition does make sense.

    Maria Reply:

    @Jenn, Ohhhhhh. Yeah, it means that the blogger is OPEN to being contacted by PR representatives.

    I think it came about primarily when a lot of bloggers started being really UNFRIENDLY to PR reps after getting slammed with pitches and emails. It’s not so much a statement on the content or theme of the blog itself but a way of waving a white flag and saying okay, you can pitch me and I won’t bite your face off.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Maria,

    Hmmmmm…. I wonder if people are using it not realizing it can have the two different meanings and would that be confusing to PR reps.
    Because you’re actually the first person who’s ever given me this definition. Everyone else I talked to has always said it’s content based.
    Not that I’m advocating that we need to create some official definition or something, but I’m wondering if it can cause issues for PR reps who assume it might mean one thing rather than the other.
    But maybe it’s the PR reps who are using your definition and some bloggers who believe they need to be content friendly?

  • PsychMamma says:

    Right on, sister! Never stop being you! Love you precisely for who you are.

    xoxox

  • Michelle P. says:

    Hum, I don’t read blogs for the PR friendliness, I read them cause they interest me. So I can’t speak to that. On the other hand, now that you’ve drawn my attention to nipple charms I’m intrigued. So hey, advertising works!

  • Cranky Sarah says:

    I always thought it means they are open to being contacted by companies to do reviews, giveaways, etc. I assumed it was a search-able phrase for PR reps to look for so legit companies don’t end up in the same category as spammers.

    However, I have read of instances where larger organizations were a sponsor of a certain blog or where a blogger was a member of an ad network and then later the sponsor / ad network began to “warn” the blogger that their content was inappropriate.

    Blogging has also changed from a simple outlet of self expression to an avenue to earn fame and fortune. Some people earn fame and fortune for being themselves and some people craft personas in order to seek fame and fortune. I just hope I don’t have any of the latter kind in my reader list.

  • Maria says:

    Re: the comment above. I think regardless of the definitely, if reps know they can contact a blogger (which they could in either definition) that’s all they really need to know.

    Also, I’m not sure how effective the phrase/badges are since bloggers who NEVER do reviews and stuff still get emails all the time.

    In the end, it’s up to brands to decide who they want to work with. They need to do the research, follow Twitter, read posts. Bloggers shouldn’t need to self-police, and honestly I don’t think very many of them do.

    Just as it might be truly authentic for one blogger to be edgy, it may be just as genuine for another blogger to be very conservative. In both cases, that will alienate some people. And accepting that you’re going to alienate some people is, to me, the truest form of authenticity.

  • Tyrone M. says:

    I think they want to be sure that the message or messenger will never be controversial. I don’t know what those people expect, really. If you have a popular blog, it’s because you stir thoughts and emotions. It’s hard to do that and simultaneously be Mr. Rogers.

  • Angi says:

    Blogging is about getting readership, right? (In terms of “professional blogging”) Well, who wants to read about the 1950’s housewife? I can’t be that woman, very few of us are, that woman in real life. Hell, very few 1950’s housewives were probably THAT woman. So, if you want readers, be yourself. The ads will follow, because you’re awesome. :-)

  • Heather says:

    Sorry I’m late to the party, I was busy polishing the silver and straightening my pearl necklace while simultaneously feeding my children a 4 course hot breakfast that I got up and made at 4 AM.

    I’m just gonna go with I’m not friendly period. How’s that?

    :) SMOOCH

  • Lu says:

    The closest I am to a 1950’s house wife is all the valium I take.
    I recently found out I am PR friendly to people who sell coffins.
    So I take that more as the content fitting the brand.
    I can also see it being like ‘hey pitch to me, pitch to me!’

  • Kellee says:

    Be who you are. That’s why we all keep coming around, because you are such a badass. :)

  • Chibi Jeebs says:

    “And in my imperfections I find beauty and the opportunity to learn and grow.

    So, if being PR friendly means I have to create some false persona and project a sweet happy image to the world, then I think I’ll stay over here being unfriendly and true to who I am, instead.”

    A-freaking-men. Although, I was half expecting that last sentence to end with something like “… fuck ‘em.” ;)

  • You know, I always took the term to mean that the blogger was “open” to pitches. But I do feel like it has become synonymous with “safe” or “family friendly”.
    I dunno. I’m a fairly new blogger. But I don’t take pitches. I sell ad space- that’s it.
    I’m actually putting a PR- unfriendly page up.
    You can come have a cocktail, while cussing your ass off on my side…

  • Vixen says:

    I love the “you” you are! I, like Maria, thought the term was meant to let PR people know a person was open to being approached for PR. But I can see how it could be taken they way you thought it meant. Either way, don’t change….I love you just the way you are.

  • Aunt Becky says:

    I don’t know what PR friendly means, honestly. I work with some charities (for free) and I’m down with that. I’ll promote my friends and help a bitch out. But I also am profane and gross and naughty and I SWEAR that I’m rarely pitched to. OBVIOUSLY.

    But it confuses me when I see it. I’ve been reading the above answers and it makes sense to me a little bit more now.

  • i *thought* the term “PR friendly” meant being open to receiving pitches… not that one would necessarily go balls to the wall and pimp out that brand until they are 6 feet under, but that was at least my understanding of the term itself.

    that being said, even with ad space, i have learned *cough* williams sonoma *cough* that there seems to be this expectation with (dare i say) most brands that the blogger does fit a mold… is “safe” and fairly conservative.

    so, as per usual, jenn, i’m entirely with you on this post and found myself nodding my head up and down as i read it.

    then again, i’m not a big name blogger, i don’t work with brands… and i just like to write what i like to write. i also agree with what maria said above that realizing you may alienate some people is the truest form of authenticity.

    thought-provoking post, my friend.

  • Here, here. Too many people are looking for stuff with their blogging instead of just being a voice in the world. (I say as I put my book title on everything!) LOL

    Alana

  • Cathy says:

    True to yourself sounds like perfection to me.

  • @hereslizz says:

    I’d rather read a blog where the blogger is bold, edgy and funny with fuck here and there, than someone who stifles their voice like a mid-orgasm scream at Dad’s house just so they can giveaway coupons for free granola bars or some shit.

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