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It Needed To Be Said

March 10, 2007

Okay, a friend calls me, says she knows the photo-editor at a large, national kids magazine who saw my work and liked it. “Send her something,” my friend said. “I told her you would.”
So, I grab a nearby promo card, head to my database to address the card only to notice I don’t have a listing for this particular person.
So, I go online, search for “editorial offices,” and hit send. Nothing.
So, I go to the magazines site. Nothing. No address, no phone, no fax, nothing.
At the far edge of the page a “contact,” button. “Ah-HA,” I think to myself.
What do I get? The dreaded, black hole, template page. “Please send us your message, and include your email and question,” the page stated.
What it should have said was, “Go through these meaningless motions and the only thing you can be SURE of is that we will never respond in any way, shape or form.”
This is why these places have these templates from Hell in the first place. There is nobody there to take your message. There is nobody to follow up, follow through or care about what you could possibly want. UNLESS, the GREAT UNLESS, you have something they NEED.
Then, suddenly, a strange thing happens. Suddenly you might get a call, or an email. “Hey, we heard you have such and such.”
You respond, “Well, I sent my message via your template from Hell, but strangely enough, I never got a response.”
“OH,” they will say. “That is so very surprising.” And then here it comes…”Why don’t you send it to this OTHER email address.”
Let me decipher this. This means, “Why don’t you send it to this REAL address.”
People, my fellow citizens, my fellow taxpayers, are we not yet beyond this?
As you all probably know, this is a very common strategy amongst those who feel they are either very important, or that they would get too overloaded by “people” trying to communicate with them.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am a wedding and kids portrait photographer. Let me repeat that. I am a wedding and kids portrait photographer. I get A LOT of calls, emails, etc. I would put my call/email load up against a magazine photo-editor any day of the week.
And you know what. It’s not that bad. My numbers and addresses are all over the place. And, the best part is what comes of unexpected calls and emails. I look at this as contributions, humans interacting with other humans. Partnerships are formed, friends are made, plans are hatched.
So, my dear photo-editor friends, it’s okay, open up and enjoy the rest of the world. We won’t bite. I promise.

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