Last month we asked veteran journalists Aurora Rodriguez and Evan Benn to join the South Florida Bloggers in a conversation about the do’s and don’ts of blogging ethics. We gathered at one of our favorite meeting locations in Coral Gables—Pipeline Workspaces—to tackle some of those tough questions we face as bloggers.
In case you missed May’s Meet-up, below are the top three topics we covered and some key pointers that Aurora and Evan had to share with us.
How do you handle media invitations?
Sometimes the most obvious (and easily forgotten) is to be thankful! And because actions speak louder than words, Aurora suggests leaving a tip and even asking for a bill to get an idea of how much to leave. One thing they both agreed on was the importance of replying to every media invitation even if you are not going. And if you are going, consider whether you would have an outlet for that experience. Evan believes you should not accept the invitation unless you know you’re going to write about it.
But wait—what happens if you don’t have a good experience?
We learned from Aurora that it’s best to be honest with the publicist about why you won’t write about it. Also, Evan proposed to give constructive criticism and at least mention you will give their business another chance in a month or so when they have made improvements.
What do you see bloggers doing that you would recommend against?
It is a small world after all, and it’s likely you will run into peeps over again in the blogger community. To keep your name in good standing, Aurora recommended three actions to take: show up on time, always say thank you, and don’t bring a +1 without permission. Pretty simple, right?
A great tip from Evan was to be transparent. Whether you are getting invited to a media dinner or a free trip to Puerto Rico let your readers know you are being sponsored and tell them about your experience.
How do you show respect for your peers?
As part of the South Florida Bloggers community, we are all about kind collaborations. We were so glad to hear both of these great journalists agree that it’s a big part of their relationships as well. As Aurora mentioned during the meet-up, showing support for each other can happen when you share a post you really enjoyed from a peer. Another great suggestion was to reach out to contacts that can serve as a resource for your story. Then you can send links to people that helped you. In Evan’s opinion, make it a good experience for both, deliver on your word, and you will stand out!
We opened the floor to questions from the bloggers joining us that afternoon and found we hit on some great pointers for newbies and seasoned bloggers alike. Something we all need to hear is to stay true to ourselves. Keep attending networking events and make the effort to keep true genuine connections with people you meet. Remember every contact can potentially be a new opportunity.
Interested in attending our next meet-up? Be on the lookout for an email from South Florida Bloggers with details of our June event!