Pud you do it? PR pitches for Stir Up Sunday

Happy stir-up Sunday 2/4

Photo: Jane Cockman / Flickr Creative Commons

 

Stirring up trouble

Christmas may start developing a presence in September but Stir Up Sunday truly only comes once a year.

For those of you outside the UK, Stir Up Sunday is a longheld British tradition of stirring up one’s Christmas pudding on the final Sunday before advent. Everyone in the family stirs the mixture, maybe make a wish before the pudding is given its first steaming pending storage until December 25th.

Much as a greeting card vendor might use such annual occasions to sell cards, commercial companies are sweetly stirring bloggers into promoting their stuff at the same time.

This week on Blogger School we’ve been raisin’ collective eyebrows at several Stir Up Sunday PR pitches. Unlike Christmas campaigns which have months of planning, the Stir Up Sunday efforts appear frantically bashed out midweek leading up to the day in question.

For the fruits of your labour

Should you considering promoting brands on your blog “work” then first issue here is that Sunday for most people is a family day but aside from that consider the following alongside these pitches:

  • Late notice given (bearing in mind parcels take a further 24 hours+ to arrive)
  • Time required to make a pudding (2+ hours plus whatever it takes you to write a post, if you asked to write a post)
  • What is being offered as reward for you endorsing said brand’s Stir Up Sunday message?
  • Are you expected to fork out for missing ingredients?

And suet goes…

The prize pudding pitches getting us most steamed up are:

Brand #1

Brand #1 have offered to send ingredients to make a pudding on Stir Up Sunday which they hope you will use to make a pudding and share your progress with your readers. Whether they’re sending all the ingredients is ambiguous since the list of that they’re offering to send refers to “3 tbsp brandy”, so many grams fruit blah blah – so possibly only a miniature bottle will arrive alongside carefully measured out quantities of sultanas and suet etc.

Blogger school assessment: This is a short notice request to write an entire post promoting a commercial brand by a certain date. If there were more notice and full packs of all ingredients were being sent we could roll with it but since it’s only 3-4 days, we don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for payment and clear the decks on your calendar to blog a nice post before Sunday and share this all over social media on Sunday afternoon. Only they’re not paying. 

Brand #2

Brand #2 are offering “quality content”. Brands often use this term, as if bloggers are incapable of creating any quality content of their own but are happy to act as a mouthpiece for brands who have paid a team of several people to produce a professionally edited video.  Anyway we digress – Brand #2 have produced videos and recipes featuring a celebrity baker and are asking if you would publish this on your site. Like – this week. Please.

Blogger School assessment: This is a short notice request to place branded content on a niche website. We think this falls firmly under the banner of “sponsored post”. Brand #2 says there’s no budget however presumably they did pay the camera operator/video editor and the person emailing you and possibly a heap of other people too.  Surely a gift voucher to say thank you wouldn’t be too much to ask?

Brand #3 Who Shall Remain Nameless

… have offered to send a hamper containing “everything you need to make a Christmas pudding” and are asking you to tweet about it and share the results (i.e. they’d like you to blog it but aren’t couching it in those terms which we admire). Only there’s a catch. They’re only sending dried ingredients incase the fresh stuff “goes off”. We think this is odd since Brand #3′s core business is in fresh product and everyone else couriers stuff in chiller boxes without any problem. But we’ve not got to the best bit yet.  When said hamper arrives 3 days beforehand, not only are the fresh ingredients missing but most of the dried ones too. Admittedly they do send a rather nice bowl but apart from glace cherries and an orange (hang on – that’s fresh isn’t it?) you’ve got to… erm… buy everything else yourself at a probable cost approaching £10 (or more if you buy alcohol).

Blogger School assessment: this is plain weird and we need to pour ourselves a stiff brandy from ingredients sent by Brand #1.

 

Will you be taking part in any Stir Up Sunday events for brands?

Post By Sarah Trivuncic (4 Posts)

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