As you may have seen in my previous post I recently got the great news that I’ll be writing as a Boston Local Food Festival Blogger (BLFF). I love the festival and so far I love blogging for it too (it certainly gets me excited for the festival itself).
It’s a very organized operation. I got my first assignment on City Fresh Foods via email which you can now find on the BLFF blog. When I asked for some feedback for my next assignment I got a warm response and reassurance that I would not be left in the dark. It’s been a welcoming and fun project and I was happy to find that the other bloggers are just as excited as I am to be a part of the festival. Still, what’s life without a few bumps along the way?
Article research can go one of two ways, information can abound thanks to the internet (even then it’s not necessarily smooth sailing) or, particularly with smaller companies, information can be harder to find. I was fortunate that City Fresh, thanks to its success and community outreach programs, does have a considerable amount of news coverage and a website (though some important portions of it, like the mission statement, are under construction). I was also provided with a contact to get a quote for my article, their website and a simple Google search helped me to find a trail of articles to follow.
Here’s where I made a mistake, thanks to the hustle and bustle of the last couple of weeks I didn’t contact City Fresh quite early enough for a quote. I made sure that they had several days to answer me but I assume that, just as I am busy, so are they. My article ended up quoting other articles instead and lost a little of the personal touch that I’d hoped for. For my next assignment I will reach out for a quote immediately, asking for general information and, if my article requires it, ask for more specifics as I write. This way I will at least have a quote, a starting point, and hopefully after establishing and opening communication with my contact, it will be easier to follow-up with them later.
Bite-sized “moral” of this story (for those who skim): Get a general quote on topic as soon as possible. Follow up for more specifics closer to the deadline.