Beyond The Swag: Bloggers Use Social Media To Do Good

Brands have long recognized the power of cause marketing to help them stand out from the crowd and generate consumer loyalty. They have often reached out to moms in social media to engage their support. What's new is that blogger-brand cause partnerships now go both ways: The women who are heavily involved in social media are increasingly recognizing that they themselves can use their influence to initiate change to help others., run by blogger moms Debbie Bookstaber and Candace Lindemann, is leading the way in bringing together influential social media moms with corporations and causes. The organization, launched in 2009, is dedicated to connecting social media users with corporate giving and PR departments, to encourage and facilitate charitable donations. It also empowers bloggers to become philanthropic leaders in their communities. Some of the top names in "mom social media" are on its board.

"We knew many bloggers who were committed to charity and to using the influence and power of social media to improve their local communities. We also understood how eager companies were to connect with bloggers, but bloggers weren't necessarily going to write about cleaning products and new soups. In many cases, these pitches just weren't a fit for the blog's format or readers," said Bookstaber.



At the same time, "many companies have charitable programs and request blogger support, but they struggle to get their corporate giving programs mentioned on blogs." hoped to bring the two sides together in an effective way, in which blogger, brand and cause alike would all benefit.

On June 24, our company and will present the second annual Bloganthropy Awards, a program the two organizations created together and launched last year to honor those who have raised awareness for a good cause through blogging. Give Health, a Procter & Gamble social sustainability program, will sponsor the Bloganthropy Award itself -- including a cash prize for the winner as well as a donation to her cause -- for the second consecutive year. Other leading companies will have a presence at the awards presentation -- an official event of the Type-A Parent Conference, a popular blogger event taking place in Asheville, N.C.

Katherine Stone, the blogger behind Postpartum Progress, received the first Bloganthropy Award, which was announced in August 2010. Hers is the most widely read blog in the United States on postpartum depression and other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth. In the last year or two alone, other important bloggers, such as Mommy Niri, have launched cause-focused programs. Kristine McCormick of Cora's Story and Maggie Ginsberg-Schultz of Violence Unsilenced have used their blogs, respectively, to advocate universal screening for congenital heart defects and to shed light on domestic violence.

I see an important trend here. Mom bloggers who have focused to date on reviewing products or talking about their personal experiences are now looking to make a greater contribution -- to have real impact. This offers exciting opportunities for bloggers and brands alike.

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