Day 56: What Do You Do When An Event Invite is Extended? Pt. 4

Two years ago, this month, I was chosen as a runner-up in the very first Purina Cat Chow Correspondent contest. I was one of hundreds of bloggers who applied for a chance to have a one year, $50,000 salary, postion with so much for the person to do to promote Purina, and attend, and write about, Cat related issues, and events, that my cat, Nikita, claimed that it “blew my furry little mind (Not! Hee, hee!)”.

http://www.opinionatedpussycat.com/2011/04/honors-for-meowsings-daddy-kiril-runner-up-for-purina-cat-chow-correspondent.html

Would you jump at a similar chance if offered to you, even if there was no salary involved?

I did, in 2008, when I was approached to become a member of the Pacific Symphony Citizen Press Corp, in Costa Mesa, Ca.

In January 2008 I got an e-mail:

I SAW YOUR BLOG:

Hi.  I’d love to invite you to attend a concert as a guest of the Pacific symphony.  Then write about your experience on your blog.  I am an advocate for live classical music and a supporter of the Pacific Symphony in the OC.  Critics attend concerts and write about them. It would be interesting to have the fresh perspective of the citizen journalists writing about their experience at a concert. Please let me know if you are interested. Thanks!

Kate Peters

Intrigued I replied, and learned that she is an author, performer, speaker, and advocate for the Pacific Symphony, and discovered my older blogging.

I, of course wanted to know…Why me? I told her a bit about my past, which I will also get into below, relevant to her invitation:

The reason I chose to send you the invitation is because 1) I liked that you comment on culture, have an educated opinion about things, and are a music fan.  Now that I know you are also a violinist that cinches it.  2.)

Your blog was on a list I found as one of the best blogs in the OC.

I liked your style and thought you might be game to join in our new “press corps”.  Finally, now that you have written to me and I know more about you, I think you HAVE to participate because you would like it.

Hol_ga3

Mad Macedonian: Culture Critic = http://www.madmacedonian.com/2008/02/mad-macedonian.html

Examples from 2 yrs. as a participant, probably one of the few who actually took his participation seriously:

American Composers Festival 2008: An American Tale – Pt. 1 = http://www.madmacedonian.com/2008/02/american-compos.html

American Composers Festival: Hollywood’s Golden Age = http://www.madmacedonian.com/2009/03/american-composers-festival-hollywoods-golden-age.html

To this day my concert reviews are still attracting readers and I am always finding someone mentioning one in a blog, or community forum.

As with all my other examples in this series, don’t dismiss opportunities such as this. You never know where they may lead.

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Day 55: What Do You Do When An Event Invite is Extended? Pt. 3

I get e-mails…this one came in January 2009:

I just wanted to let you know that Gary Fisher and his old business partner Charlie Kelly will be coming to town for a free screening of my cycling film, KLUNKERZ, at the end of the month.
In 1979 these two cyclists started a little company, cleverly called MountainBikes, that was the first MTB company in the world. They are both really fun guys and they will be available for questions after the film.
Klunkerz tells the story of a small group of hippie/athletes who, quite literally, reinvented the wheel. Their passion for cycling created a multi-billion dollar industry and an Olympic sport…
The screening is at noon on Friday, 1/30 at the La Paloma Theater in Encinitas. It is part of the Competitor Magazine Film Festival.

If you would like some FREE TICKETS, simply email me.

Thanks for your time and I hope to see you there.

Ride on, Billy Savage writer/producer/director KLUNKERZ

I wrote back expressing interest in a ticket, explaining that, while I was no MTBer, I loved history, and a good movie.

It seems that he found the Cycling Dude “simply by cruising the web and looking for interesting cycling-related blogs.”
Sd_trip8

Imagine, now, if a similar letter was sent to you, dear pet blogger, but about a documentary on the no-kill shelter movement or some other pet themed subject.

Would you be interested? Of course you would!

Would you go if you could? Of course you would!

My 2 post story begins here:

KLUNKERZ: A Recreational Cyclist, and Commuter, Meets MTB Legends

Billy, Gary, and Charlie all showed an interest in my blog and, liking my report, spread the word around their respective circles for some time afterward.

Don’t look a gift horse, or cat, or dog, or ferret, or iguana, in the mouth, you never know where attending and blogging about such an event may lead.

Next up = Day 56: What Do You Do When An Event Invite is Extended? Pt. 4

Day 54: What Do You Do When An Event Invite is Extended? Pt. 2

So, there you are, minding your blogging as you normally do, when you get an email:

It is a detailed Press Release with PDF’s, from ORA – Organization for the Rescue of Animals – Toronto, Canada, that invites you to attend a 1 day event, as a member of the Pet Media.

Attending the event itself would have been just $50, but the Plane fare, and hotel, well, the money for that would, as your cat would say, buy a hell of a lot of Kibble. 😀

You write back curious how they heard about your blog, and get this interesting reply inviting you to connect with them…

Dear Kiril (and the Nikita Cat and the Meowsings Blog Team!), Thank you so much for taking the time to write back to us and for adding a link for ORA-Organization for the Rescue of Animals to your sidebar. We are delighted to connect with you this way online! Yes, we found you via Cat Blogosphere and have been following your website with amusement and interest over the past several months.

You were included in our small circle of invited media friends because we feel that you would represent the issues with fairness and much wit on your blog. You are not afraid to be opinionated, it shows – and we love it!

Having said that, we sincerely hope that you will consider joining us in Toronto in a couple of weeks if you are able to do so.

It would be a pleasure and an honor for ORA to have you attend and cover Nathan Winograd’s first Toronto appearance for us on your blog.

If you are unable to attend, please consider adding a few words about the event in an appropriate place on Meowsings for your readers to help us gain further web exposure for this important event for animals. We look forward to your reply either way.

I wrote back thanking them for the invite, & wonderful compliments (They are one of the few organizations, that I know of, to have actually taken the time to get to understand my cat blog, and its unique approach to cat blogging, and show an obvious appreciation for it), and explaining why I couldn’t go, but that Elvira & Nikita would cover the story, and related websites, in a series of blog posts.

NoKill_Series2

The subject of the No Kill Animal Shelter Movement and the books and websites of its leading promoter, Nathan Winograd, interested me so much that I decided to get his books and do a series of posts, not just a 1-shot simply plugging the event I had been invited to attend.

So, that April 2012, Nikita and Elvira wr0te a 7 part series (Just follow the links to succeeding chapters):

FNN SPECIAL REPURRT: The No Kill Animal Shelter Revolution 1

http://www.opinionatedpussycat.com/2012/04/fnn-special-repurrt-the-no-kill-animal-shelter-revolution-1-.html

The series was shared by ORA, and also by the co-founder of  Blog Paws, who wrote, on her blog, “This is a serious issue! We are lucky to have these smart kitties covering it.”

A lot of interesting, thoughtful, comments, were also left throughout the series.

ORA wrote us: “Henceforth, please do consider us your allies for animals online, and thank you for the exposure you give to important animal issues, and keep up the good work! ”

The lesson from this is that even if you can’t attend some event you have been invited to, don’t close the door to covering it and its subject, entirely; be creative, use your imagination and contribute something that your readers will find worth reading, and that others, including those who invited you, will find worth sharing

Next up = Day 55: What Do You Do When An Event Invite is Extended? Pt. 3

https://smfcba365dayproject.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/day-55-what-do-you-do-when-an-event-invite-is-extended-pt-3/

Day 53: What Do You Do When An Event Invite is Extended?

Cats4Cats_Show6

No matter what type of blog you write, personal blog, pet blog, bike blog, or something else, social media interactions matter and can help you reach a wider audience, both short term and long term.

I know because, over the years, I have been invited to events by people, organizations and companies who reached out to me after learning about my blogs.

What do you do in those situations?

Cats4Cats_Show2

If you can attend the event and are comfortable with the things required of you in the sharing of your experience with your readership then, of course, you go notepad and camera in hand and have an interesting experience to share, most likely over several entries on your blog.

If you are unable to attend all is not lost. There may be another way for you to cover the event on you blog if the subject is of interest to you.

I want to share my 2 experiences with pet themed events:

In August 2011 I attended, along with a number of other pet bloggers, a red carpet event at the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

It was a one-night only celebrity concert event; “CATS for Cats,” that helped raise funds for a wonderful local Los Angeles animal rescue, Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats.

I hadn’t planned to attend due to the cost of tickets, but in July I received an e-mail from one of the several sponsors of the event, Hartz, offering me a red carpet ticket and access to the exclusive “AfterPawty”:

“We are inviting several influential Cat Bloggers from the Los Angeles area to attend the event and feel that you fit the bill perfectly! We thought it might be something you’d like to attend, then blog about, or even live tweet from the red carpet or the show!”

I found myself interviewed on the red carpet and posed for pics, and another interview in front of a Hartz wall display. I also blogged about Hartz and its pet products, as well as wrote about the animal rescue. Both Hartz and Kitty Bungalow spread the word about my cat blog and its participation in this event.

The 6 part series of blog posts begins here (Just follow the links to the next post):

Daddy Kiril At Large: Cats For Cats – Introduction

http://www.opinionatedpussycat.com/2011/08/daddy-kiril-at-large-cats-for-cats-introduction.html

Next up: How I covered an event I could not attend

https://smfcba365dayproject.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/day-54-what-do-you-do-when-an-event-invite-is-extended-pt-2/