June 28, 2007

McDonald's hires Mommy bloggers, blogosphere throws tantrum

| | Comments (2)

mcdonalds.jpgMcDonald's recently hired six "Quality Correspondent" Mommy bloggers to report to the "world at large" about McDonald's various facilities. An obvious attempt to build some positive brand buzz for McDonald's, which some of the blogosphere will undoubtedly groan at. Aside from the usual blogosphere tantrum over brand blogging, there are a few aspects that should be questioned. One of the most forefront being that the six Mommy "bloggers" don't appear operate blogs on their own. Picking out Virgin Marys to the blogosphere under the umbrella of a buzz-building site most definitely skews how the six will report back. As with most n00bs, we all at some time battled ourselves over self-censorship. Given that situation on top of blogging specifically for the brand you're supposed to be reporting on and not having an audience of your own outside of it definitely creates a highly skewed scenario. Sure, McDonald's can claim that blogging is not journalism in this instance and that they aren't telling the Moms what to say, but that's also like turning down a third-party survey in favor of paying off for an internally-conducted one. A better approach? Tap into existing influential and authoritative Mom blogs (like Dooce, 5 minutes for mom, and Everyday Mommy) that already have experience as a blogger outside of the brand.


Do you think this negative buzz earn them traffic they would not have gotten otherwise?

I agree, they should have attempted to employ bloggers with existing clout, but if you are going to do things wrong, at least do them wrong enough that people notice. Almost everyone slows down for a car accident.

Thanks for posting on this - I'm groaning as you wisely predicted.

So those mom correspondents/blogging neophytes are going to give their "objective opinions" on the McDs site? Because hey, don't all mommyblog readers go to McDonalds.com when they're hankering for some clever writing? This effort is completely misguided.

I agree with you that blogging isn't journalism here. But I'd go further and say that it isn't even blogging. These are PR arms for the company; a paid focus group at best.

Leave a comment

(moderated for inappropriateness)