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Samantha Kemp-Jackson’s Twitter bio describes her as the “frazzled mom of 5,000 kids.” While the math is a bit off – she has four kids ranging in age from elementary school to adult – the fact that she manages motherhood and a full-time career is impressive, never mind the fact that she is also a parenting writer for Huffington Post Canada, blogger at Multiple Mayhem Mamma and media spokesperson. Here Samantha shares how she balances work, life and blogging, and how her own experience in PR shapes how she works with agencies and brands.

Follow her @samkj27.

How do you balance “5,000 kids”, a full-time job and a successful blog?!

Hmmm…”handle” is a relative term, so let’s just say that I “manage” things, some days better than others! Being a working mom with grade-school kids at home is challenging to say the least. It’s a balancing act that only works if you have a good support system at home, which I do. I also have let go of some of the things that I would like in an ideal world: a spotless house, neatly-folded laundry and a feeling of being completely organized!

What does a typical day look like for you?

My typical day starts early – usually I’m up by 6:30am at the latest. I try to get into the shower first but often have to battle my way in there. And then of course there’s the requisite craziness, getting kids up and ready, feeding them and getting to work on time. When I come home the craziness continues – dinner, homework, bath, bed. If I’m not too exhausted I might actually have a conversation with my husband or write in my blog. Usually I fall asleep after the last child is down (and sometimes before). All in a day’s work – and home, right?

What’s your number one tip for PR people? How does your own experience in PR shape how you work with agencies and brands?

I love this question! It’s a great one and I’m happy to speak for not only myself but so many of my blogger friends who have experienced working or receiving pitches from PR people. My number one tip is a cardinal rule for all PR folks, from junior to the most senior: Know your audience! You wouldn’t believe how many times I get PR pitches that ask me to do giveaways or product reviews, neither of which I do, and have never done, which is clearly stated on my blog. Or, I get asked to plunk into my blog a full, pre-drafted article for a product or brand, again, something I don’t do. I do have relationships with a couple of select brands that I do regular work for, but otherwise it’s not something I’m involved with on a regular basis.

Another frequent request is that some PR folks will ask me to tweet, share on Facebook or Instagram their product. These are people/brands that I’ve had no relationship with, or minimal at best, yet they have no problem asking for a share. I think that many of the people who are pitching me forget (or perhaps don’t know?) that a lot of PR is based on relationships that are built over time. A one-off request for me to promote their brand with no background doesn’t fly.

These are just some of the topics that I address in my workshops to communicators. I’m now offering a seminar/lunch and learn about working with brands, called “Influencing the Influencers – How to Successfully Position Your Brand With Bloggers.” The session is for both PR agencies and corporate communicators who want to up their game and increase their success with bloggers and influencers.

Do you have a favourite post or a post that really left an impression on you?

Yes – this one: The Unkindness of Strangers and my recent Huffington Postarticle: Be Kind and Give Up Your Seat To a Pregnant Woman. Both are self-explanatory 🙂

Dream story that you’d love to work on?

Anything that includes technology, digital convergence, future trends and/or kids, not necessarily together or in that order.  Any ideas?

First website you load in the morning?

Twitter for news, then CBCthe Globe and Mail and The Star, depending on the news items. And of course, Facebook is always open 😉

Coffee or beer?

Coffee AND Beer. Depends on the time of day 😉

About Amanda Laird

Amanda Laird was Manager, Communications at Canada Newswire.

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