Social media campaigns and bloggers

Beware: Bloggers don’t like to be ‘engaged’ with in a superficial ‘can you sell by site’ type way. A Pampered Life sucks could be an alternate heading? Or warning: discussion on menstrual cycle community ahead. Heh. I teach courses on how to engage bloggers as part of a social media campaign. But I don’t tell…

Beware: Bloggers don’t like to be ‘engaged’ with in a superficial ‘can you sell by site’ type way. A Pampered Life sucks could be an alternate heading? Or warning: discussion on menstrual cycle community ahead. Heh.

I teach courses on how to engage bloggers as part of a social media campaign. But I don’t tell PR and Marketing agencies to do those faux whisper campaigns or to treat bloggers like free advertisers. Here’s the spam mail from A Pampered Life:

Dear Laurel Papworth,

We recently came upon your site,, and found it extremely helpful and informative for Australian women. (NOTE: this was auto-generated and sent to all females on Australia’s top female bloggers list)

We would like to invite you to join our new site: A Pampered Life (“APL”) which is an online community, where you can share your knowledge, experiences, tips and advice.

A Pampered Life is brought to you by Naprogesic. There are many great blog articles to read and to comment on such as: health, fashion, travel, relationships and much more. A Pampered Life also features the latest events. You can also add your own events, upload photos and enter great competitions.

Each month there is a new theme. The theme for June is financing for women in relation to financial year end. There are great articles on budgeting, financial goal setting, and much more.

We would love your contributions and stories to A Pampered Life. Please find below an editorial calendar for the next six months and a consumer press release.

By joining our community you will be able to gain further exposure for via links to your site from A Pampered Life. You will also have the opportunity to share your thoughts and advice with like-minded women.

As one of the top 100 female bloggers in the country, we would greatly value your contribution to our new community. Similarly, if you like some of the articles we have on our site, feel free to reference our content on your blog with a link back to APL.

To join our online community visit

If you have any questions regarding A Pampered Life please forward them to the Editor Candice Steffensen

With warm regards,
Candice Steffensen

A Pampered Life

Oh the irony, they couldn’t be bothered taking the few seconds to edit out http etc so my links are in (good) but they didn’t do theirs (bad).

I usually delete these without thinking about them. It’s clear they haven’t taken the time to read the general purpose, subject matter or tone of the Top 50 Australian Female Bloggers sites, or take a few minutes to tailor a personal message, so exactly how caring will they be of their own online community members? Nope, not much.

By the way, I’m number 22 on the list! yay! 🙂

But Sara Goldstein, the legend behind TheBargain Queen and other uber-fashion sites is miffed – here she writes on the blog (fashion entrepreneur blog):

Work for free to promote period pain meds!!!!

… SSo, I can write about what you want, when you want, to help you promote period-pain meds, and in return I’ll get some links from your site — which has a PageRank of 0, <100>So… I get a sort-of compliment (you’re popular, please be friends with us), and I’m supposed to be so thrilled that I’ll give you lots of deep links into your site. Again, not going to happen.

Naprogresic, wake up: if you really want to get into Web 2.0, why not buy some ad space from those “top 100 female bloggers” you so admire and support us in our work? You’ll not only get a much warmer reception, but it’ll likely cost much less than building and staffing “the first Australian online branded community for women” (according to their press release).

Of course, that would mean giving up control over the content and letting those top female bloggers determine when, where and how they are published — instead of “giving women the opportunity to take some well deserved time out for themselves” on a period pain meds site, with a pre-set editorial calendar that assumes all women want get-fit tips in spring (so they can look hot in swimwear by summer). It’s like the movie Mean Girls: “on Wednesdays, we wear pink”.

Australia isn’t technologically backwards in general — technology adoption by individuals is high and we have some very smart, albeit basically gagged, academics — but boy do our big businesses give us a bad name. When two companies (Woolworths and Coles Myer) control 70% of all retail sales, who cares about innovation?

full post here

Can anyone say “anti-branding exercise”? heh. Sara emailed out to the top bloggers – she is the only one that mentions them on that I could find. I didn’t link to A Pampered Life. Us girls stick together. I wonder if Katie Chatfield has anything to say on this? EDIT: Of course she does. And Joseph Jaffe from JaffeJuice comments.

I had a quick look at the site. All the content is theirs, except events calendar and photos. That’s not a community that’s a photo album online.

Shame on you A Pampered Life and Naprogesic! Stop using women to get your message out there and start thinking about their real needs. And a period pain diary online that you spam to top female bloggers is not an option.

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  1. yep – got the same generic email
    nope – didn’t bother to click on the link
    yep – rolled my eyes

  2. I had no idea they had done this.

    I did get an email from them, they were asking to buy ads space. But after checking out the site I wasn’t at all interested so trashed it.

    I am hoping everyone ignores their emails as well.

  3. mmm- I’m not ranked on the top 100 women blogger’s site (not that it’s important but I do kinda wonder why)… and even the most cursory examination of my site would reveal what I think about brands riding for free on blogger content:

    This is just really lazy work from the brand’s PR. I’m amazed that they would think that women bloggers would be ready to shill for absolutely no value- and the offer of ‘hey you don’t know me, and I have any track record but will you swap links with me’ is dumbass 101.

    How hard would it be to personalize an approach- or how about asking bloggers to be guest editor (an PAYING them for it! How on earth do they think they can build a community when they can’t engage highly connected and content building women with any value exchange?

  4. The sad thing is, I can see the rationale behind their idea, it was just so appalling executed.

    It’s not the dumbest approach to bloggers I’ve seen by any means.

    I recently got approached by a new online service that says it will revolutionise online shopping, but won’t say how until it launches.

    Until then, we are asked to look at the count down clock on their holding site and think about the ‘intriguing’ brand name they’ve chosen.

    Approach one was a straight forward press release, with the expectation that I’d pretty much publish verbatim.

    Approach two was the same release, but this time a logo included for good measure.

    Approach three was a new release…this time telling me that anyone subscribing to their newsletter would get £30 ($60) in adword vouchers.

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