Hey Brands & PR Agencies – Dads are Different than Moms!

by Michael Sheehan on September 17, 2010

in Cast of Dads, Consumer Electronics, Family, Gadgets, General, Hardware, How To, Opinion, Parenting, PodCast, Social Media, Video

When I started blogging about 5 years ago, I had no idea what direction it would take me, nor what type of success or lack there of it would have. I must admit, I’m pleasantly surprised at the result thus far. But it wasn’t easy. Having a full time job and having a full time family are two things that suddenly make the 24 hours in a day feel more like 12. And I do have to sleep in there somewhere. But this post is not about how sleep deprived I am, it is more about why I stay up late writing blog posts.

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I have always been a technology guy and playing with new gadgets, technology, software, hardware or websites is something that I simply love doing. But, I also love the fact that I have a family and 3 wonderful daughters who are growing up just a bit too quickly. It was around these two concepts that I created my own personal brand of “HighTechDad“. And I’m pretty happy with the results on all fronts! But the important thing here is the writing and engaging.

I guess that I’m what’s now known as a “daddy blogger”, but I don’t write about parenting specifically and all of the time. My focus and “pitch” is about how technology can work in the family. Yes, it is a bit more niche oriented but it is something that I can speak to pretty well. But part of my reasons for writing and reviewing tech is pretty selfish, I just want to be able to try out the latest cell phone, laptop, TV, camera, car, application, you name it.

I have had some success talking with major brands like Sony, Microsoft, Ford and Intel. And I have hand plenty of conversations with smaller brands and even helped a few startups get their product announcements out. The important thing here is that the brands that I have worked with have, for the most part, found me and started talking with me. Granted, when I see I hot product or gadget announced, I will reach out to those companies and start the dialog. But it is critical to remember to engage in dialog.

And, here’s a secret, Dads are the new hot-ness!

I have nothing but positive things to say about “mommy bloggers.” They are a collective powerhouse and have established themselves as a voice to be reckoned with. And they have been around for a while and continue to grow their influence. And Brands and PR firms really get this. The moms have a lot of influence over family decisions (heck, I almost had to ask my wife if I could write about this – kidding). But if you, as a brand or PR manager are talking to just the moms, you are missing half of the audience of influencers.

Dads definitely do things differently than Moms in many ways, and we are proud of how we, as Dads, do it. And, while there are plenty of smart, tech-savvy Moms out there, it’s the Dads who like the tools and toys. I might be going out on a limb here but I feel that Mommy Blogs have become a bit commoditized. Don’t get me wrong, they hold plenty of influence and brands need to continue with their conversations and work with them, but there are now plenty of Daddy Bloggers out there who offer different audiences and different niches, and most importantly, different types of conversations and content.

Recently, CC Chapman, who is 1 of 5 of the “Cast of Dads” (a weekly podcast of Dads that includes Jeff Sass, Max Kalehoff, Brad Powell and yours truly), gave a quick talk at the 140 Conference in Boston. If you are a brand or PR agency, you need to watch this short clip:

CC brings up some great points. We are dads and we are here to stay, and we are definitely proud of it. We are creating different content and holding different conversations. And, we need to be talked to in a different way than the way the Moms are being talked to because we are different. I too have been invited to participate in conferences or programs where the pitch I received was geared towards moms, even down to where ordering a shirt for the program was mom-focused. The shirt sizes were ONLY women’s small, medium or large. Sorry, but I don’t think I can fit in those! But the point here is that you cannot simply repurpose mom-oriented campaigns or pitches and make it work for the dad.

So, I leave you with the following points on how to pitch a dad:

  • Talk to us in a different way than you do to moms
  • Understand that we like toys, experiences and getting our hands dirty
  • Know that we are working extra hard in this space BECAUSE we are different and interact differently
  • Think about activities that dads do and craft your pitch around that, not around product features, THEN integrate your product into the pitch
  • Tailor your pitch to a daddy audience, but remember, many moms read daddy blogs
  • Get to know us before you pitch us
  • Don’t lump us in with the Mommies, we love ‘em, but we work, talk, play and act differently
  • Read the above points, digest and read again!

There wouldn’t be Daddy Bloggers if it weren’t for the Mommy Bloggers. The Mommies have created a powerful component to online marketing, developed and nurtured the space, and continue to grow. It’s much like raising a child. But Dads are there doing the same, but providing their own opinions, values and ideas, just the way a child is (hopefully) raised by BOTH parents. Children benefit from having an equal balance of direction and guidance and ideas of BOTH parents. Content creation on the web should be viewed and treated similarly.

Get out there and converse with the dads. You will see how active and influential we truly are. But, remember that we are different, and it is this difference that makes us powerful!

HTD says: How do YOU pitch a dad?

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