Yes, I said it.
After reading the Wall Street Journal article this morning about ‘The Mommy Business Trip,” I felt the need to express my thoughts here in my little corner of the internet. The hard-hitting journalist from WSJ seems to infer that we “Mom Bloggers” love to attend blogging conferences to get boozed up, leave our kids with a sitter and watch bad TV without a toddler at our feet. Oh, and we love free stuff and tweeting about free stuff. AND, since we rarely get to escape from our hum-drum daily WAHM life, we live and breathe for conferences and sponsored trips. But mostly we go for the booze.
Wow. Really. REALLY?!
May I say that although most conferences are geared to providing a great experience for the attendees, we are there to network. promote and learn as much as possible. We strive to increase our influence as bloggers, writers, and social media enthusiasts and experts. Will some of our friends be there? Yes. Will we have dinner or a drink with them? Absolutely. But, will we miss our kids and significant others desperately while we are gone? Indeed. These experiences are not a “Get Out of Life Free” card wrapped in a trip. This is business. We create media kits, work on business cards, pitches and presentations for conferences. We develop articles, videos, and other types of resources after the experiences to share with those that may be interested in learning but couldn’t attend. We chat directly with brands and other bloggers about potential partnerships and business opportunities. We work it.
What really hurt my heart was that one of the best women I know, Katherine Stone of Postpartum Progress, ended up caught in the crossfire of this whole debacle. She was gracious enough to post an apology piece, but those of us that know her knows she most definitely didn’t have to do so. Her words were construed to fit the article and as a former marketing director for Coca-Cola, she knows how people can spin the hell out of something. The fact that she still decided to address it and apologize shows you how amazing she is. How amazing our blogging community is. THIS is why we need to be taken seriously as business people and why we should ACT accordingly.
Take this as our wake-up call, bloggers.
Some people out there still view us in this aspect. Some companies and brands also see us in this light. If they express that view to you, call them out, in a professional way. Explain to them why you keep track of your reach and impressions on twitter. Tell them how you are increasing your knowledge of Google+ and will incorporate that into your blogging and business plan. Share with them how your life experiences, at home, on media junkets, and at conferences not only increases your outreach, but the outreach of the other companies you work with. Talk up your fellow bloggers as well. We are not crabs in a barrel but stepping stones for each other. Let’s keep that in mind when we are attacked in this light.
With all of that said, I hope that this negative view of our lifestyle can bring us closer together. Oh and Wall Street Journal, I have one phrase for you: Catalina Wine Mixer. Look it up. That was a business trip too. For mostly males. Conferences are just as important…and with less alcohol.
Side note: no, I will not be linking to the WSJ article here on my site. I refuse to give them traffic, even the small bit fro my blog. Feel free to google it though.