I have another post for the blogging etiquette “series”. If you are interested check out the first post where I chat about photos.
This time I want to discuss sharing contact information. This topic isn’t as “cut and dry” as I think the photo one was. Everyone has their own opinions and everyone has their comfort levels and limits.
If you’ve been blogging for a while you may have a lot of PR and brand contacts already. I have been asked in the past how I find all my contacts. Truth be told I’ve been really lucky and most of my PR and brand contacts have reached out to me. Some of them I’m sure have found me through google searches but some have reached out to me because other bloggers have suggested that I’d be a good fit which I think is wonderful of my blogger friends and I’m always trying to pay it forward too.
A blogger friend of mine Jenn of Spiced Beauty has this to say:
There are a lot of opportunities out there. Some of them are for you and some aren’t. If I’m inundated or not able to fulfill a request, I always suggest other bloggers. Whether the company contacts them or sees them as a great fit is not on me but at least an opportunity doesn’t go wasted.
This is a great outlook to have in my opinion. It’s a great way to give your fellow bloggers an opportunity plus the PR contact or brand will appreciate the suggestion.
So if you want to reach out yourself where do you find these contacts? Well you can always Google the name of the brand you’re interested in plus the word “press release”. If news and a press release was published chances are the contact will be listed right in the press release. You could also look on Canadian News Wire (CNW) and search for the brand you’re interested in. Remember that LinkedIn is also a great source!
Also don’t forget to pay attention on twitter. Often times PR companies will be tweeting stuff out about their clients. However, as another blogger pointed out:
Don’t ask about press related questions to a brand or PR’s public twitter handle. DM them. If you aren’t close enough with them to have them follow you, find their PR contact’s email address. Sometimes it can be difficult, but I have a list of hundreds of PR contacts, all of which I found by doing research, not by asking other people or publicly on Twitter. LinkedIn and Google are your best friends.
Remember to always be professional with all your brand/PR contacts as the blogger-brand-PR relationship is extremely valuable!
Another way to find contacts and share information: ask a fellow blogger – BUT please be aware that some bloggers are very open about contacts while other are not.
From another seasoned blogger friend:
No one is obligated to share contacts. I’ve seen a lot of “friendships” end over a misunderstanding or someone choosing not to share. No one can force you to give out any info you don’t want. Don’t ever feel bad, if you say no. It’s your blog and YOUR work.There are instances where the PR company doesn’t want their info given out and you mess up a relationship with a company over a foolish discretion.
Now there’s some food for thought. Personally, if someone asks for a contact I’m happy to share with them – HOWEVER this is only when the request comes from someone who I consider a friend and who would do the same for me. If I haven’t spoken to someone in a while or it’s just an acquaintance then asking for favours like that can throw someone off a bit. It’s the same as randomly asking someone you knew in grade school and haven’t seen since then for a reference letter. It’s awkward so don’t do it!
On the other side of the coin – as mentioned above – if you ask for a contact and the answer is “no” then don’t be upset! The person has no obligation at all to disclose contacts and you should just respect their right to decline. Hopefully the both of you are mature enough to not let something like that affect your friendship or professional relationship. Even if you have a blogger friend that is willing to help you out with contacts I would still caution against asking for too much and asking too often. You really do need to do the work yourself even if there are others out there willing to help you!
Well, I think I’ve covered a lot on this one topic. If you have anything to add please feel free to do so in the comments or you can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a story to share with me and would like it to be included in my next blogging etiquette post (you can choose to be linked or to be anonymous) you can also send me an email.
Thank you again to my fellow bloggers for providing some insight on this topic!