I work in PR so I get the media. As with all PRs I can’t read an article without the PR message, presuming there is one, screaming out at me. Perhaps slightly arrogantly, I believe the way I consume the media is a much more educated one than those outside the industry.
However, I am now entering a whole new world and a different area of the media that I am reading on a personal level. Expecting a baby I have launched myself into the parenting press!
Don’t get me wrong, I know the power of these titles and am familiar with them from working in PR for the last decade or so, but in recent weeks, I have become an everyday reader of the likes of Junior and Mother & Baby as there is so much I need to know.
Until now I never realised how much the brands I work on actually affect my choice of products within my every day world. This isn’t through freebie gifts but actually taking the decision to purchase: my house is full of Samsung technology; I have BT for my phone and broadband; for a quick and tasty bite to eat my first choice is always wagamama; I book all my weekends away on LateRooms.com, as do all my family; I buy my niece and nephew Disney toys; even my mobile network is still Orange from over 12 years ago when I first worked on it.
My first baby purchases were to be the buggy (or to those in the parenting club, ‘a travel system’) and the car seat. I read every article in print and online, I read all the blog posts. Complimented by the phenomena that is mumsnet and its wealth of advice for mums-to-be (but wow I was shocked with how much of the information was ‘advertorial’ led). I knew everything there was to know about these products.
As one of the last of my friends to have a baby, everyone had advice on their favoured products and brands and why they were so good. But there was one resounding message I received: ‘it’s a nightmare when you get to the shop as there are so many choices, you just don’t know what to do – you’ll be in there for hours’.
What did I end up doing? I looked to a trusted media source, namely the Which? Best Buy list and looked to see the two best products it highlighted for my needs. I frogmarched my very trusting husband (he knew how much I had been researching) down to the shop and looked at the two products off the list and was very happy with what I saw. So we bought them and left – simple….But what it did do was prove the purchasing power of one publication!