I’m not sure what you’ve heard about the ElevenMoms, and what we do and don’t do for Walmart, but I think it’s about time someone dispels the rumors and myths, by giving you the truth.
Let me begin by saying that everything we ElevenMoms do with Walmart is optional and fully disclosed. Walmart does not require any thing of us but to be ourselves and remain authentic to our own voice. We have never worked for Walmart and none of us are employees of Walmart.
About a year ago, Walmart assembled a group of influential mom bloggers and gave us a name, much like Frito-Lay’s Fab 15 and Sharpie’s Ambassadors. Walmart’s interactive media agency then created a micro-site that feature each of us as the Walmart ElevenMoms, with bios and links to our individual sites. None of us are paid to don the title “Walmart ElevenMom.” We are not paid to tell you how wonderful Walmart is or urge you to shop there.
In the beginning, we were asked to be a part of a campaign to bring awareness to a contest being held on Walmart’s YouTube channel. We were offered a video camera to assist us in creating as few or as many videos as we wanted to upload to this channel. The Flip video camera was our only compensation and we were okay with that. Nothing beyond what we were already doing was being required of us, really, and we could use the videos we created on our own sites, as well.
Since those first few months, however, we have been given opportunities to create content for vendor micro-sites, all of which are compensated. We are also offered to host paid Walmart and vendor ads on our sites.* All of this, of course, is optional and many of us have opted out, at various times, due to a conflict of interest.
As ElevenMoms we are given many opportunities to review products available at Walmart, as well as host giveaways for our readers, all of which are completely optional. Just as I would not demand monetary compensation from any other large corporation for providing my opinion of their product on my own site, I do not charge Walmart. However, a product sample has always been provided. In addition, it is my policy to charge a fee – in the form of gift cards, a product sample, or monetary compensation – for hosting giveaways, and I make no exceptions for Walmart.
We do not provide uncompensated consulting for Walmart. We have provided our consulting services during round-table discussions and surveys, and compensation has been made in the form of cash, gift cards, conference sponsorship, and/or products. Whether or not we think this is fair is our own prerogative, but rest assured in knowing that any consulting we do, for either Walmart or their vendors, is compensated.
Contrary to what you may have heard, Walmart – as a corporation – has not taken credit for “making the ElevenMoms.” They know that the ElevenMoms would not be as visible as we are today if not for the power we each wield as individuals. Many of us were already bloggers who were reaping the benefits of our dedication, sweat, tears, and hard work, before Walmart found us. We were already being chosen to go on special all-inclusive trips with Disney and others, not with Walmart. Most of what each of us has the privilege of doing is because we have authentic voices and have worked very hard to build relationships with all of the PR professionals whom we know and love. We are not Power Moms because we are ElevenMoms, we are ElevenMoms because we are Power Moms.
All that said, I am honored to be one of the Walmart ElevenMoms. I just wish that people would get their facts straight about this fabulous group of intelligent and passionate women, with whom I am privileged to be associated! We know better than to let a large corporation – any corporation, company, or individual, for that matter – take advantage of us. Trust me.