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Focus on YummyMummyTips with editor Sian To

YummyMummyTips is a blog covering fashion, toys, products, life, food, fun and families. It is edited by Sian To.

This week, FeaturesExec caught up with Sian to talk about her blog, how she works with PRs and where she’d like to be in five years time.

You and your blog:

Tell us a bit about YummyMummyTips:
I am a mum of four with a huge passion for fashion and everything that is cool to do with baby and children’s gear. My children span two generations. I have a big teenager and three little ones who came along in quick succession, three in three years to be precise.

MummyTips brings together fashion, toys, things to do, creative stuff and my family all tied together with probably a little too much emotional rambling.

What was your motivation behind starting the blog?
I have worked in the baby industry for nearly 10 years and I have always had a love of writing but my day job has often hindered my flow. I suppose that lack of time and too much work stopped me from moving my ideas forward. Well that and the fact that the whole family shared one lap top in the evenings.
I bought a new Macbook, and as they say – the rest is history!

Who reads it and how many of them are there?
Well being called MummyTips you would think that it’s a girls only zone – but you would be wrong – I have lots of daddies logging on too.

What subjects do you cover?
I would like to say that I cover anything and everything, but when I think back to some of the shockingly misplaced PR pitches I have had over the last few months I would say that is definitely not the case.

I cover fashion, products, life, food, fun and families. However I do think that it is essential that PRs who are thinking about pitching to bloggers should at the very least log on and see what they are all about.

My boys are 18 & 8. They love film, games, food, Dr Who, Torchwood, Star Wars and nothing else.

My girls are 7 & 5 – they like fashion, craft, days out, singing, dancing and fighting! All four of them model and we are happy to look at information on anything that fits into our lifestyle.

What makes you different from other blogs in your sector?
In the UK there are not very many ‘mummybloggers’ that feature products. In the US it is big business – but it seems that here things work slightly differently.

When I launched MummyTips I had planned to write exclusively about products but as the community around your platform grows you can see that things don’t always go in the way that you first planned. What makes MummyTips successful is its ability to be fluid with content.

What was your inspiration behind launching the blog?
I would like to say something really life changing but I have to admit that it was my new Macbook!

Why do you blog?
It keeps me on my toes and makes me think.

What are your favourite blogs?
Without a doubt DulwichMum is my favourite blog. She is light, funny, in PR like me and she makes me smile.

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs or do you keep them at arm’s length?
I am happy to work with PRs. There is a lot of negativity surrounding PR contact with bloggers at the moment but that has been born out of ignorance. The ‘MummyBlogging’ masses think that PRs shouldn’t be asking them to do things for free but they don’t realize that a PR’s job is to place ‘free’ edit.
I work in PR, so I can see things from both sides. I want to be pitched to – but I also cannot stand getting releases about products that I wouldn’t feature in a million years.

Forgive me if I am blowing my own trumpet but I like to think that MummyTips is a pretty stylish gig. I write about fashion, design and cool stuff. Why then would I be sent a press release about dog’s hayfever treatments???

Do you have any advice for PRs?
It is simple. Just log on and have a look before deciding that you should put MummyTips on your press lists.

What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
I love new products and I welcome press releases etc. But only if they are for products that our family would be interested in using in our real lives. Mr MummyTips and I love to cycle. We mountain bike and road cycle – our kids all love to bike too. We love Xbox, Wii, swimming, gymnastics, dancing, films, travel (especially to Thailand and the far east – so if there are any press trips going!). But our biggest love is fashion and design led products.

What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
By simply looking at MummyTips. If your product is right for us then feel free to email.

When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
We don’t have any deadlines at all. If we like something we will roll with it.

About you:

Do you have a day job?
Yes, I am a PR.

A phrase I use far too often is…
Can you wait a minute?…. As I knew I was writing this I counted! Today’s count 37! Perhaps I could turn that into a mini daily feature on the site. Thanks for that!

I’d like to have a go at…
A family cycling holiday somewhere picturesque. I would love it as much as it terrifies me.

Where do you hope to be in five year’s time?
Simple really. In five years I would like to be living in the Far East (Phuket hopefully).

[img|jpg|Sian To]