Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Practicing My Mom Skills

Right now is a very busy time for my office. Production starts in two weeks, and before that happens, we have to get everything we need to do said production. This means for me a lot of writing of the short blurbs I will soon put in my portfolio, the delights of checking facts that have already been verified by the reporter who wrote the story, and my favourite of all; photo requests. Or, as I describe them to my friends and family as I describe my work day, nagging.

Last week my editor gave me a list of events that she was considering putting in our calendar called, "Hot Dates." She told me that they all needed photos, and to start accumulating them. On Monday we had an editorial meeting, yeah, remember those? We discussed Hot Dates, and the required photos. Laura told me to really get on it this week, and to tell people we needed them by Thursday. This is where the fun really begins.

Asking companies for photos, in many ways, is like being a mom nagging a child. First you've got the ones with selective hearing, or at least, selective e-mail reading/voice mail listening skills. No matter how many times you call/ e-mail/ harass them they refuse to respond, even though you are offering something that will eventually bring them happiness.

Then you have what I like to call the Yesees. As soon as you first contact them they're all, "Oh right away, thank you for the publicity, anything we can do to help, blah, blah, blah," and then they do nothing. The child version of the Yesees I am very familiar with, because I do this often;

"Honey can you clean the kitchen?"


"Great." (Three hours later) "Honey, why didn't you clean the kitchen?"

"You wanted me to clean the kitchen?" - I'm starting to sympathize with my mother here.

There is another version of the Yesees that are even more obnoxious, the Confused Yesees. These people give the same flattering reply, and when I give them my requirements (high resolution, no promo posters, TIFF of JPEG) they do the exact opposite (200 ppi, promo poster as a Ps file, goody) It's like the kid who doesn't hear their mother say, "Do not pour cold water in your grandmothers vase right out of the dishwasher." Guaranteed, when the dishwasher is unloaded, the vase will crack.

This last one is the type I was dealing with today: I had one person who responded with a Yesee response, and then starting asking a ridiculous number of questions. I thought I'd really got through to him, but then he said the files could not be sent from his computer, that his designer wasn't in the office today, that he wasn't sure if he had any images of what I was asking for (which I'd seen on his website), blah, blah, blah. The Excuse Child. It was so ridiculous, I felt like I was talking to a kindergartner.

So tomorrow I am going to go to work again and call the restaurants that are not calling me back. I'll try and think of some really good threats for them to get their attention. Maybe I'll take away their TV privileges, or just deny them free publicity. Then I will laugh about it with my coworkers because they are all so adorably naive.

Man, I cannot wait until I have teenagers.


Kylie Groft said...

you are officially ready...reddy... heehee! Skip babies and just head straight to teens!

Unapologetic said...

This was a fabulous post. I completely agree with all of the mentalities you described!

Katey said...

Tell them that they will get bad review from your publication-and that they will be sentenced to eating only broccoli for a week.

reddmummy said...

Hey, I resemble that comment re: Grandmother's vase out of the dishwasher!

reddy said...

Heehee, that's where I got it. It seemed like a good example.