Networking and business card etiquette
November 12, 2007 9:40 PM   Subscribe

I have a new community blog that is a place for people in my industry to talk shop. I want to get the word out and have a very inviting stack of business cards that I have collected over the years at industry conferences. Is it appropriate to email any of these contacts and ask them to write/contribute or just tell them about the blog?

I think this blog will be a valuable tool for people in my industry, so on one hand I feel they might genuinely like to hear about the blog. On the other hand, the email would be unsolicited. OK, they did give me their business card, but at the time I was representing my employer, not my blog.

That raises another question, can I contact people I met at a conference about my blog if I was sent to the conference by my employer? My blog does not compete with my employer, but that seems like it might be in bad taste (or dangerous!).

I've collected a lot of business cards over the years, but never really used any, so please teach me the ways of business card and networking etiquette.
posted by scrumtralescent to Work & Money (5 answers total)
Don't know the industry, but if you really want them to contribute, it's really better to call and speak to each personally while also launching a banner or press release campaign to trades and marts. I recently organized contributors to my radio show and I would not have done it using e-mail. It works better and gives you much more flexibility in using your industry relationship to seal the deal. Phoning is also a very good strategy to speak to those who might advertise on the site, depending on whether you want to use it as a job board for instance.
posted by parmanparman at 10:01 PM on November 12, 2007

Also, if your boss doesn't know about the blog, tell him or her. Then that will free you up to network about it at your next conference unhinged.
posted by parmanparman at 10:02 PM on November 12, 2007

Especially considering your great blog! Nice stuff in there, you better watch out about Engadget stealing that first article.
posted by parmanparman at 10:03 PM on November 12, 2007

Agreed about the boss. Definitely clear it so there are no bad feelings later.

As.for the business cards, the reason people hand them out is so they can be reached.
posted by Pants! at 5:15 AM on November 13, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the tips. I think I'll start emailing one a day and see how that goes. If people are receptive, I'll keep going.

Also, I cleared it with the boss.

And thanks for the kudos! I've been working really hard on the site (and as a newbie at running a community blog, it's been a lot of work, so every little step of progress takes a lot of time).
posted by scrumtralescent at 11:00 PM on November 14, 2007

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