I’ve been working on this post for several days now…..
Trust me, I am not the type of person that dots my I’s with hearts and smiley faces. And I find the song “Don’t’ Worry Be Happy” to be incredibly annoying. But I do believe in happiness and the pursuit thereof. I do believe in our inherent right to have fun, and enjoy life.
You’re a travel writer. I’m guessing you agree with that, and love what you do. I am in PR, own my own business and as it turns out, I too, love what I do.
I declined a potential travel writer visit this past week because I could foretell that she would disturb my happy place. And I wanted to share that here.
A writer approached me and my client requesting a media visit explaining the story they were interested in, and the name of the outlet. Nothing else. Of course I Googled the name of the writer and the name of the magazine, neither of which turned up much.
The magazine’s website had empty pages on it. A twitter account had less than 100 followers and no interactivity. A LinkedIn account had no profile filled out and I couldn’t find a website.
I responded asking the obvious questions looking for more information on the outlet with circulation numbers, distribution, and geographic info, clips and oh, perhaps a website or blog? The response was, “..I’ve been doing this for 12 years and am surprised because other PR people don’t have a problem finding information on me. Did you consider Googling my name?”
Thank you but no thank you.
And I don’t care who you write for. I just don’t see this working out between us even if I do bend over backwards (which is my tendency) to work with you.
I did eventually get clips and determine this person to be legitimate. But this conversation is only the beginning of a lengthy working relationship, which under normal circumstances is an enjoyable and productive one.
What would you have done in my position? In this day and age is there any excuse not to have a website, blog and/or complete LinkedIn profile with links to writing samples? More importantly, wouldn’t it make sense, upon approaching me, to have thoughtfully put together a pitch that includes all the information (or links) to help me counsel my clients to a good decision? That’s what I do when I approach writers.
This particular writer seemed to think that the typical things I look for when I’m screening writers for my client didn’t matter (You know, influence, audience, etc). Our initial encounter demonstrated a lack of… I don’t know, respect? Understanding of MY needs? Will this be further amplified as we continue the process?
Don’t even get me started about the crazy things and requests that happen on press trips….like the one who requested a driver, and an all-organic diet with two fruits a day…..Oops – I got started.
I’m talking about managed expectations all the way around on what our roles are in the pr/writer relationship.
97% Nice Guy/Gal Rule (nice vs. being a jerk)
I don’t like to complain. I chalk this story up to the 3% Jerk Rule. I see the glass as more than half full (thus the section heading).
I love it when we kick ass together and make each other look good. You have an editor and/or a readership that you answer to, and I have a client that I answer to. Mutual understanding of our respective business models gets us so much more out of life.
Such as the time I received an email the day after I dropped everything to help someone on deadline saying “Thank you so much, I really enjoy working with you,” or when my friend Kara sent me a clip from Everyday with Rachael Ray that included my client with a note that said the only reason its in there is “because of social media and because (I’m) cool”……or when my client is ecstatic because I helped to get them in front of a new audience. This is a way better high than opening the envelope with the check in it. I could get a check for doing any number of jobs. I choose this one for a reason.
As it turns out, I think you do too.
Do you work with PR people? Share your advice!