Don’t Call Us Daddy Bloggers

Dad bloggers at BlogWorld 2010

The panel of dad bloggers from BlogWorld 2010. From left, Jim Turner, Brad Powell, C.C. Chapman, and Craig J. Heimbuch.

I found myself in a predicament at BlogWorld LV 2010. The “mommy” bloggers and the “daddy” bloggers were speaking at the same time. I wanted to hear from both sides of the parental blogosphere.

Alas, I had to make a choice.

I picked the lesser known and understood dad bloggers and felt slightly like a child forced to choose a side. Apparently, most people went with mom. I don’t think there were more than 20 people in the room for dads.

I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

It was half way into the daddy panel discussion that I began looking around the room. “All the brands not here listening right now, just made a huge mistake,” I thought.

2011 will be the year of the Dad bloggers!

I’m not making that up. Dad Brad Powell said it. And please note in the photo above, Powell looks like he’s very well in touch with his mom side and probably could have fit in on either panel. He was actually making a statement about how brands normally treat dad bloggers.

So what do brands need to know about dad bloggers?

  • Don’t call them “daddy bloggers.” According to Powell, they are “dad content creators.”  Craig J. Heimbuch added that “Dad bloggers write about anything…from a dad perspective.”
  • Don’t put them in your “mommy blogger” list and send out a blast email that starts with “Hey gals!”
  • Do read their blogs.
  • Do email them individually, call them by their name, and understand what each blogger writes about. Have an angle for your story that fits their interests.

Dad blogger C.C. Chapman said that if your email has any of the following in the subject line, it will not be read. The others agreed, and now we all know what to avoid:

  • Media Alert
  • Immediate Release
  • Urgent

An audience member with a very well known brand asked the dads about the best method to add contacts to her daddy blogger list.

I winced in pain for her. For a moment, you could have heard a pin drop.

Then everyone jumped in at once. The general consensus: Never say you are building a database or list of daddy bloggers (the same goes for other bloggers and journalists, by the way). Everyone’s fear, of course, is an inbox full of “Hey gals” emails.

I was surprised by the heartfelt stories shared by men in the audience who also blog and are dads and who feel they don’t get respect for putting their roles as family-men first. It’s easily accepted, and truly expected from moms, but dads are supposed to be out earning the big bucks, coming home late, and having time for the kids only on Saturday afternoon.

Brands mostly haven’t picked up on the fact that this is a different era.

Advertisers still target women with household products, and make men look naive about how the household functions.

Not that all dad bloggers are the primary caretakers of the home, but we have to realize that we are living in an age when many dads ‘choose’ to be the stay-at-home partner, working from home, doing the laundry, and making sure the kids get to soccer practice. It’s a choice many families make.

Blogger Jim Turner said he has confessed to peers on business calls that he was folding the laundry while they talked. Sometimes someone, another man, will ask him a laundry question and Turner isn’t shy about sharing his experience with products.

So what’s a brand to do?

Start by following the dad bloggers from this panel:  C.C. ChapmanDigital DadsJim Turner, Genuine BlogBrad PowelDad Labs; and Craig J. Heimbuch/Man of the House. Read their blogs and watch their videos. Get to know them.  Join their discussions.  Then, check out the other dad bloggers in their communities. Finally, please remember to target your stories carefully and conscientiously.

This is the season of the dad.

Authored by Victoria Harres, director, audience development, PR Newswire

24 responses to “Don’t Call Us Daddy Bloggers

  1. THANK YOU very much for the insightful and heartfelt reaction to our panel. You never know if what you are saying is making it across the room to everyone there so I’m glad that you did in fact hear what we were saying and I can’t thank you enough for sharing this with your audience.

  2. An important development. Quite possibly the epiphany moment of advertisers that Dads offer a diverse mix of valuable information from a Dad’s perspective. The next few years will interesting to watch. Thanks to all that attended Blog World representing the parenting community.

    Vincent | CuteMonster.com

  3. I am not bothered by being called a dad or daddyt blogger. For the past 6.5 years I have blogged about my experiences as a father and a man.

    Those posts include my thoughts, comments and feelings on things outisde of parenting too. That’s because I am more than just a father.

    I am not defined solely by any one thing and certainly not by labels applied by others.

    It is good to be a dad- it is the most important thing I do but it is just a piece of me.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing the good Dad word.

  5. Oh for god sakes! YOU ARE Daddy bloggers. Get over it. It’s the same story as the mommy bloggers saying, “don’t call me a mommy blogger.” If you have a problem being a dad, blogging about being a dad, and having folks identify you with that, then go home, watch TV and shut up. Seriously, be proud to be a daddy blogger. Daddy bloggers deserve so much respect and attention! If brands aren’t on board yet, it’s their loss. In short order, they’ll catch up. Remember… there would be no mommies without daddies. I’m totally in favor of more daddy bloggers – at Lip-sticking, we <3 the dads.

  6. C.C. – Thank YOU for the great education! I have been non-stop talking about your panel since BlogWorld. Hopefully brands will start listening to what you have to say.

  7. JACK – Thanks for sharing your perspective! Every blogger is an individual and I’m glad bloggers like you and the dad panel include your whole persona in your writing. You’re right, you are much more than any one definition. Through our lives we will be defined in so many ways. But those of us who are parents will always be defined by the parent role no matter what we do.

    BRAD – You were awesome! I still smile at the fact that when I spoke to you after the panel you seemed to have forgotten you were wearing a wig and dress. You said very intelligent things…but I could only pay attention to your lovely golden locks ;) Thanks for sharing your story and making me and others more aware of the parental blogosphere!

    YVONNE – I’m glad you <3 the dads :) I think the dads are indeed proud of who they are and what they do, but like an blogger, don't want to be lumped together as a single unit without individuality. Like mom bloggers they write about many things, but always with their parental roles at the forefront.

  8. Great insight…and I think you may be right about the Year of the Dad Blog. At least around my house, it’s already begun: we had our first child in May, and for the first few months I found myself having SO MUCH to say, but no real way to work diaper discussions and burp cloth comparisons into my “serious” blog about the news biz. So my dadblog was in a sense inevitable. And I was really, really surprised about the instant, and significant, response. There’s a big audience out there for what dads have to say.

  9. VINCENT – Thanks for the comment! I hope advertisers do indeed have that epiphany!

    STANDUPKID – Thank you for the compliment. Congratulations on being a new dad! And I’m so glad to hear that you are working your ‘whole’ life perspective into your blogging instead of just news business. I am guilty of not really having made that connection in my writing… yet. I’ll get there I hope.

  10. This was a wonderful session and for me it was just a moment to relax from being “On” and that’s what part of this is about. It is becoming ok to talk about kids and being a dad to people beyond your wife and her friends… In the US, that’s something our parents and grandparents would have no concept of.

  11. Yvonne,

    Yes, we are and it is cool to be one.

    Victoria,

    If I teach my children to define themselves and create their own identity then I can do no less in my own life.

  12. Excellent piece. You know what is interesting – I missed Blog World because I was at Natural Products Expo East trying to find new healthy products for the Dads who read our site. I think this speaks to how “dad bloggers” are a little hard to define. I guess you could call me a “dad blogger” because I am a Dad and I blog, but really I try to blog about things that will be helpful and useful to our members (mostly Dads).

    For brands and PR agencies, I think it is a mistake to throw us all into one group and market to us as “dad bloggers”. We write about very different things, and brands would be well served to find blogs that have a connection with their target audience – regardless of the fact if they are dad blogs, mom blogs, or grandma blogs!

  13. Yes I am writing this comment as I am folding laundry… Hey I have four kids we do a lot of laundry here. Thanks Victoria for the post and I think we will see Blog World next year devote an entire track to the parents and their media.

  14. BRIAN – Maybe the movement that ‘social’ in general is effecting is that we now mix our conversations. We can be a complete person when when we talk business or anything else. Thanks for participating in the conversation here!

    DAN – Thanks for the compliment! Hope to see you at BlogWorld next year. I whole-heartedly agree with you on not lumping bloggers together just because they mention their families. It’s hard work, but we on the PR and marketing side just need to do the homework and figure out exactly who might find our story relevant to their writing…or lives.

  15. “GENUINE” JIM – Thanks for taking up some of your laundry time to read and comment ;) I hope there will be a track at BlogWorld next year devoted to family blogging. And I hope to hear you guys speak again and report any changes you might be seeing in how brands address you.

  16. Well done, Victoria. As both a marketing professional and writer/producer of “dad” content, I’ve presented this very subject to the top marketers in the country. What I’ve witnessed firsthand, in general, is their reticence to deviate from the antiquated notion that when it comes to their market or product, it’s still all about moms. It’s not too much of a surprise that big companies often move slowly into new areas. However, it is beginning to happen – we’re seeing more commercials targeted to fathers – and the continued momentum is inevitable as we become recognized as a force in the market and marketers follow the money.
    Rob “Short Order Dad” Rosenthal

  17. Rob, so glad you stopped by! I went over to your blog and watched the video with Phillipe who had never cooked vegetables. Loved it!

    I think one of the things marketers aren’t realizing is that by sticking to these antiquated notions they are also insulting women, who they seem to be trying to target. I would love to see a dish washing detergent commercial target men. My husband does all kitchen clean-up around here (a fair trade since I love to cook and he loves my cooking). Housework around here is designated by talent and short-straws :) …not by gender. – – Vicky

    • Oh, can I play? I just saw this fun video featuring Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers (disclaimer: he’s one of my heroes) as “Today’s Male Shopper.” Clever, and definitely a piece of marketing that “gets it” with respect to crumbling stereotypes.

  18. Thank you, Vicky, appreciate the feedback.
    Cool video, Sarah. Do you know who produced it and why?

    • Rob, I had the same question, and I’ve not been able to dig up who produced it – clearly the intention is to make the point that men shop too, but it’s been out for a while and I wasn’t able to find a larger campaign. If I do track it down I’ll post an update here.

  19. Thanks for the info on the video Jim! Inquiring minds now know :)

  20. Pingback: ‘Dear Blogger’ & Other Pitch Mistakes PR Pros Make | Beyond PR

  21. Pingback: ‘Dear Blogger’ & Other Pitch Mistakes PR Pros Make - CommPRO.biz

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