Do You Act Professionally?

I like to think the best of people until they give me a reason not to. I’ve seen bad client relations, bad journo-relations, bad motivation in building or executing strategies…frankly I’ve heard (or seen) some weird stuff.

I like to think we get beyond that here at PRBC.  We don’t use this as a platform for self-promotion (at least not directly – everyone likes to show off their smarts and/or ideas, but you don’t see us looking for speaking gigs or clients), we’re open to many different kinds of opinions and writing styles, and generally try to share the “wealth” – if we can get someone into a conference so they can cover it for the blog, and at the same time give that conference a little ink, and the professional a little bit of professional development, it’s been a good day.

However, it’s been a disappointing “day.”  Some of you may recall, a few months back, we put out a call for folks to cover conferences in regions where we don’t have regular writers and for some other roles.  I collected the names and we’ve been able to dole out some book reviews and the like and are still looking to match some folks up with appropriate assignments.

One person (perhaps our first) to take on covering a conference on our behalf has successfully lived up to the worst of what our journo friends have come to expect of us.

Long story short – In late November we received a note re: a social media conference in her area.  I dropped the organizer a note to see if we could arrange for press passes (essentially free admission and usually some other perks).  Oddly enough the email address was a “blind” address, but I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered it was an acquaintance running the show.  They made the arrangements and so it was that 60 minutes asking if I could get her press passes this person had the appropriate discount code in her email box for the an event the following week.

Three weeks later – I dropped the (as-of-yet-to-write-anything) writer a note asking how the conference went?  Silence.

Three weeks after that (it was the holidays after all – 6 weeks total) – I drop another note, checking in – nothing.

Ten days later – another note.  Still nothing back.

So after nearly 2 months of simply not getting a response, I decide to check this person’s Facebook profile.  I assumed of course it would be private (it wasn’t), and thought perhaps they had gotten sick or otherwise were having problems.

There were ample discussions of her island vacation plans.

And this little gem –

I’ve decided that 99.999999999999% of the world’s population is either a) remarkably stupid and/or b) inexplicably lazy.

Apparently I’m the first and she’s the second.

Last week I dropped her yet another note, just checking in.

The moral of the story – Our industry is pretty small. The number of times I’ve run into folks or been asked about people is a bit…crazy. Is this the kind of impression you want to leave with people who could be in a position to refer you business, or at the very least speak of (highly or not so highly) of you in some manner.

It’s worth noting, we don’t usually take our own “out for a walk” in this manner, but the gall this particular person demonstrated – to not even reply to multiple emails (even to say, if it were the case, that there wasn’t enough worth covering, they don’t have the time, or simply that they’re too busy) really merits a close examination of how we want to be perceived by our peers in this business.

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