Focus on Baby Genie with editor Catherine Warrilow
Baby Genie is a blog run by Catherine Warrilow containing information on all aspects of parenting from conception, to pregnancy, birth and beyond.
This week FeaturesExec caught up with Catherine to discuss the blog, how PRs can contribute and to find out about her day job and her plans for Baby Genie.
You and your blog:
Tell us a bit about Baby Genie:
Baby Genie is a collection of information from mums who have invaluable advice to share, experts such as midwives, phycologists, and nutritionists who have pearls of wisdom for you, and others who can help you along the wonderful path of parenthood – come rain or shine, tears, tantrums and truly magical moments.
Baby Genie covers everything from conception and pregnancy to birth and beyond.
Who reads it and how many of them are there?
Baby Genie is read by parents; lots of mums looking for a light hearted read about parenthood; the highs, the lows, the tears, tantrums and truly magical moments. It’s written by real mums about day to day life and captures what it’s really all about.
At the moment Baby Genie is getting between 50-150 visitors per day.
What subjects do you cover?
Everything from conception and pregnancy to labour and life as a first time parent with a newborn – including tips and advice from experts. Right through to everything that happens in life when you’re a parent – becoming you again after having a baby, your child’s development and everything to do with their health, as well as toys, games and books, holidays, plus information for dads, work/life balance, and all of the important family occasions throughout the year.
What makes you different from other blogs in your sector?
Baby Genie consists of stories, news, reviews and thoughts from real parents. If we like something, then we talk about it. If we’ve had a rubbish day then we don’t pretend being a parent is all rosy all of the time. It makes people smile, it’s a good read and it’s a place you want to come back to for a good catch up on what’s been going on with the Baby Genie mums.
What was your inspiration behind launching the blog?
I wanted to launch Baby Genie since our son (known as the bear) arrived in August 2008, but like all new mums it was a case of finding the time to do it alongside being a parent and running a business. I wanted to share the amazing experiences of being a parent with other people; especially new parents with it all to come. I also wanted to tell other parents about the great finds that you discover along the way; baby leg warmers, teething necklaces and toys that entertain like no other to name but a few. When you become a mum, certain products can be life savers and every other parent deserves to know about them!
Why do you blog?
I love to write. And more than that, I love to write as me. In my job in PR I write in a tone and voice to suit a given publication or audience and never get to write with my personality. Baby Genie allows me to write like that and also write about someone and something I love very, very much.
What are your favourite blogs?
I like Petite Anglaise and Style Bubble.
Do you work closely with PRs or do you keep them at arm’s length?
As closely as possible; I think the more barriers that can be removed the better; we’re all just people with ambitions and a to do list and the more we can help each other out the better.
Do you have any advice for PRs?
Don’t send huge 8mb big jpgs! Anyone who needs images for a blog will only need small low resolution files. Also, take the time to check who you’re emailing and address your messages personally; I have to admit sometimes I flick past emails titled ‘hi there’ or the ones that just launch straight into the hard sell.
Also, make sure your content is relevant; if the request is for family days out, don’t send information on the release of a new horror movie.
What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Releases that contain everything you need – a fantastic new product or concept backed up by images, testimonials, stockists and a website link. Samples if testimonials aren’t available are always really useful, especially if it’s a product that would be done justice with a great review.
What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
An email with a quick concise intro to the product or service, followed by (in the same email) a detailed account with images and all the relevant background.
When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
Deadlines are somewhat ongoing! If it’s a great product or service we’ll put it to the test and feature it. Sometimes we get inundated with responses, so patience in waiting for a feature to be published is appreciated. We always let PRs know when a piece goes live. Avoid first thing in the mornings (8.30-9am) as we’ll be on the nursery/school run!!
Do you have a day job?
Yes, I run my own PR company specialising in consumer PR, specifically toy and nursery clients. So it’s really interesting to be at the other end, receiving information from PRs!
A phrase I use far too often is…
I guess… it can proceed so many different sayings!
I’d like to have a go at…
Running a tea shop with lots of nice cakes.
Where do you hope to be in five year’s time?
I would absolutely love for Baby Genie to be recognised as a favourite parenting blog across the UK. I’d love for it to become supporting arm for new parents across the country, for it to be a fantastic resource for new product reviews, and for it to continue to grow as much as it has done in its first few months. I’d also like to have another baby too!