I thought you’d never ask.
I was living under a rock this weekend because I missed the apparent firework explosion on Twitter aimed at KFC and their Blogger outreach. It came up on my radar today when I read this post by Stephanie Schwab and the comments that went with it.
If you blog, I highly recommend you read the post but in a nutshell, Stephanie was trying to make the point that when you work with brands, you need to be careful slamming other brands and bloggers because it could turn off the brands you DO want to work with. Any of us that make money from our blogs (be it little or big) have become professional writers regardless if you look at it that way or not. She also addressed the issue of the bullies that came out in FULL force attacking the bloggers involved in the KFC outreach (if you want to get an idea, search for #KFCKidsMeals on twitter or online) saying that it was uncalled for and they should mind their manners (paraphrasing).
Then I read the comments which were all over the place but one blogger in particular went rogue in my opinion. She alleged that her attack on KFC was because they were using the word “healthy” to describe their food. By the time I finished reading her attacks, I felt pretty certain that KFC’s chicken must be made by none other than Satan himself and that anyone who dares to cross into the Colonel’s house will perish and burn in hell forever.
I had so many comments on this post but I wasn’t sure which angle to take. Here were the things that struck me in the whole thing and what I think of them… Blogger outreach programs, cyber bullies, Bloggers who consider themselves to be A-list (and what exactly IS A-list?!, organic food and judging.
Blogger Outreach Programs – I challenge you to find any blogger who has NOT done one of these. Sometimes you get money for them, sometimes you get product but it’s a great way to try new things and introduce them to your audience. For the record, I will NOT participate in one unless I would actually use the product – it is not worth my integrity or my TIME. This blog is my fun place and my only financial goal is for it to pay for itself and MAYBE get me to a conference or two. Not a lot to ask and I rarely meet those goals. If I would buy it myself, I will review it here. If you are a blogger and don’t like a product or service that’s being pitched to you, here’s a tip – say no! It’s easy! N-O. Thank, but no thanks. Trust me… that PR firm is not going to cry because you said no.
Blogger Bullies – Over the past couple of years, I have seen this become more and more of a problem. It’s kind of like the crap we dealt with during the elections – people will sit behind their computers and say things that they would NEVER say to your face. Same is true on social media and on blogs. I’ve seen conversations going on that fall short of harassment. Have we all lost our minds? And I’m sure these women are the same ones who would have “discussions” with their children if they even said a cross word to another kid. Or maybe not.. I don’t care who you are – you do NOT have a right to force your opinion down anyone’s throat. So what if those bloggers let KFC bring them to Kentucky to try their new “healthy kids meals”. The PR firm obviously did their work and figured they had the right demographic. It’s not their fault the only chicken you put in your mouth is smart chicken. It’s those kind of bloggers that give our industry a bad name. Which leads me to…
Alleged A-List Bloggers – This is the fault of all those “lists”. But it seems like once people go on these lists, they become royal A-sshats who do things like.. oh… bully. They have their little A-Clicks that they circle in and unless you’re on some predetermined list, you’re not getting any attention (is this sounding ANYTHING like High School yet??). And have you READ what they write? Oh my God. If I have to read one more sub par post from the MOST AMAZING BLOGGER EVER I might puke. It’s like the person wearing the really bad outfit and you wonder if they own a mirror. Do you read what you publish? Is it even you? Please come off your high horse. You’re not that great and you’re definitely not important enough that you can bully other bloggers.
Organic Foods – This one may sound weird here, but bear with me.. One of the big things that I kept seeing in this post was the reference to the hypocrisy of KFC touting their “healthy” food. Those of us in that conversation are not KFC’s target market – let’s be real. But why is it wrong for any fast food restaurant to want to make better nutritional offerings? And when did it become blasphemy if you want to eat at these places? I know these foods aren’t my best choices so that’s why I don’t eat at them very often. Like 5-6 times a year is how often I do. My kids might get it a little more but at the end of the day, it’s my decision and a whole lotta not yours so don’t judge. (Lisa over at A Day In Our Shoes has a great post about this) One particular commenter kept talking about how everyone should eat organic and these restaurants should be shot for existing. Excuse me.. but until healthy food is as affordable as other options, guess what the majority of people are going to have to eat? You try buying organic for a family of 5 when you’re making minimum wage. It’s not happening. I’M hard pressed to afford healthier options and we’re a 2 income family doing pretty well. There is not a mother in the world who wouldn’t put organic, healthy food in their child’s mouth if it was affordable.
Social media has opened a new world to many of us and for those who are new to it, there is still a big learning curve to be had apparently. As I tell my kids and my clients – if you wouldn’t say to your mother, grandmother or your preacher DON’T say it online. You just never know who is going to read what you just posted or tweeted.
And to those bullies and “a-list” bloggers out there – be careful getting too big for your britches… if your blog disappeared tomorrow, I doubt many of us would notice and if we did, we’d forget within a week. That’s just how the interwebz works!