Friday, February 20, 2009

Asking Permission... Part 2

Last week, I wrote about the beginning of my experience trying to get permission from several technology companies to use images from their website on a site that I'm designing.  I want to be able to use their images, because creating my own will be entirely impractical because of the shear number of items that I am going to be housing information on.  My goal is written permission from these technology companies to allow me to use their images.

Let me give you an update on what I'm finding out.  The first thing I did was get on each of the companies' websites to see if they had any links for information concerning the press.  As a web publisher, I would fall roughly into this category.  I found that some sites had email addresses listed for public relations contacts within the company.  If I found anything like that, I wrote that individual an email.  Other sites had more general, fill-in-the-blank forms.  I utilized those on a couple of occasions.  When writing, I made sure to give my full name, plainly stated my request, and gave a brief description of what I want to do with the images.

So far, out of the six or seven requests, I've gotten two responses.  I am finding that I could have probably included a bit more information about my website, which makes sense.  The companies want to make sure they are going to be represented in a positive, or at least NOT negative, light by my website.  They also want to make sure that they are given proper credit as the original creator and owner of the image, which also makes sense.  Finally, including a link to an example "mock-up" page of how I am going to be displaying the images would have been helpful.

So far I'm pretty pleased with the responses I've gotten.  If you think about it, I am essentially providing, through my website, free advertising for these companies, so it makes sense that they would want to work with me.  They are also very busy people, so being concise is extremely important when communicating with them.  I hope my experience can help you with your requests for use.

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