Insights: Pittsburgh | Business Spotlight | Fall 2017

How The Motherhood Inc. grew by harnessing the power of women online

The Motherhood Inc
By Kelley Gray

On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast. Across the country, people grappled with heart-wrenching images of catastrophic flooding and human suffering, sparking a groundbreaking social media campaign to organize support for victims.

The success of that campaign foretold the creation of The Motherhood Inc., an award-winning social media marketing agency that channeled the influence of women online and set a new standard for social media marketing.

About a year later, drawing on her experience in global public relations, Munroe had an epiphany: Women were using social media to connect around issues that mattered to them and creating unique online communities that could be valuable target markets. Mom-centered communities especially had emerged as popular gathering places for women online.

“Bloggers were building relationships and trust with their followers,” Munroe says. “It became clear that, by telling stories about products or causes they supported and believed in, social influencers could serve as ambassadors of brands and organizations in authentic ways.”

“There weren’t many women online, but the ones who were there were doing something that was so revolutionary and radical — writing about their lives in authentic and honest ways.” –Cooper Munroe, CEO, The Motherhood Inc.
The Motherhood's Munroe
The Motherhood's CEO, Cooper Munroe. (Photos by Chandler Crowell)

Mobilizing moms

In 2006, Munroe co-founded The Motherhood as an online resource for women, chiefly moms, to support one another and navigate the challenges and triumphs of daily life.

The company’s big break came when Ketchum, the global public relations firm founded in Pittsburgh, asked The Motherhood to execute a blog campaign – the first of its kind – for a major diaper company. From there, business took off.

With their high-touch boutique approach, Munroe and her team of savvy marketing professionals have since created and executed innovative social media campaigns for more than 500 clients, ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies and prominent organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Motherhood helps clients maximize SEO, build awareness and drive results by strategically selecting influencers to post original, compelling content on blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and/or Pinterest. Its team carefully oversees each step of the process to infuse each project with authentic human connection.

“Our community of influencers cares so deeply and creates such beautiful content,” Munroe says. “When a message resonates, it is shared and commented upon. Relationships are built or deepened for a brand or cause because of the common ground found in online conversations.”

After each influencer marketing campaign, the content library remains searchable online, continuing to build new connections daily.

Growing influence

Over the past 10 years, Munroe and her team have meticulously built their campaign management database and dashboard to replicate what they once did by hand. The proprietary tool streamlines information-gathering for The Motherhood’s database of influencers, with onboarding surveys and other resources that ensure each team of bloggers aligns well with the goals and voice of a brand. The dashboard also supports project management, enabling The Motherhood staff to efficiently track each campaign and stay connected to clients, influencers and each other.

This summer, Munroe launched the database and dashboard software as The Neighborhood Influencer Media LLC, a standalone platform that will offer other companies a resource for building their own influencer communities specific to their business niche or interests.

“Automation might be the trend right now, but we developed our platform so that we could stay involved in all phases of the process,” Munroe says. “The authentic, high-touch element is intrinsic to executing this type of outreach and content development successfully.”

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Company facts

  • The Motherhood influencer community reaches more than 150 million people each day.
  • Awards include the PR News 2016 Social Media Team of the Year and AMA Marketer of the Year.
  • PR News recently named Cooper Munroe one of the “Top 50 Game-Changers in PR.”
  • The company headquarters in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, is in the old Fort Pitt Brewing Co. on land once owned by the H.J. Heinz family.