Most people comport themselves professionally in the workplace. It’s hammered in that we must have professional courtesy when dealing with clients, customers, and fellow workers. The formality of our actions is determined by the type business we’re in and who we’re dealing with. We answer emails within 48 hours, we confirm arrangements made by email, we send email reminders to customers and clients, we handle cancellations the same way—phone or by email. We maintain confidentiality. At least in my line of work this has always been the routine. I handle myself professionally. It’s a mindset.
Personally, I think courtesy is an important quality regardless of whether you’re dealing with business or personal matters. Courtesy is part of having good manners and manners should be as natural as breathing.
I bring that same professional mindset to my online persona and especially with my blog. I have a personal blog day, Mondays, but the other two blog days feature authors. I have a monthly scheduling calendar. I have to have one to keep track of my guests and topics. Usually, I’m booking a month in advance. I’m dealing with busy authors, publicists, PR firms, publishers, and the occasional agent. This is a business and I handle it as such. Professional courtesy is a must.
Part of the professional courtesy I offer is my guidelines, a topic suggestion sheet, confirmation of guest spots, if I have to cancel for any reason I send an email. My reviews are handled the same way—I list those genres I read and those I don’t. I give turn around times. If I haven’t received an authors article and material the week before their blog date, I send a reminder of the blog date. I do have those few I can tap if my blog guest is a no-show to do a quick article. Or I do it. Cancellations happen occasionally due to sickness, a major conflict in schedules, deadlines, and of course there are those who just don’t show up or respond. The latter usually don’t get invited back.
I don’t get paid for my blog or reviews. But I do try to handle those things as if I were paid. I’ll admit it burns my bacon when paid professionals don’t use their professional manners and I tend to weed these out of my life—I don’t have time for the attitude that they’re doing me a favor by sending me books or guests. *Snort. I don’t need any favors. What I need is professional courtesy and follow-through.
Most of the authors I work with are professional. Writing is their business and promotion is part of that business. I have a great deal of respect for hard working authors and PR people. I’ve made some good friends among them and I treasure them.
Like many, I have a very busy life. I work (I run a call center from home), have a spouse, kids, home responsibilities, a ranch and animals to care for, and I write. My time is tight. Dropping something last minute in my lap, especially a guest post, means a late night getting it set up (on a good day and happy blog gods, I’m done in 60 to 90 minutes). It’s even harder when I still have to go online and find bios, book covers, links to Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or websites. Set up then can take several hours. God forbid if I have to work early morning on 4 hours sleep. It isn’t pretty and a foggy miasma of colorful metaphors abound.
I’m heading into my busy time with work. As demands of work increases my time online decreases, although I still schedule time for that. I’d miss my online buddies too much if I didn’t. J
What are your thoughts on professional courtesy? Especially as an author or aspiring author?
- When you’re a scheduled guest how early do you try to get your material to the blog owner?
- If you’re a blog owner who schedules guests, as a professional courtesy, do you have clear guidelines for your guests?