(Disclaimer: I love photographers. I did not love this one. Do continue.)
If I had to give this summer an obnoxious movie-title name, it’d be “The Summer of Firsts.”
Djya like that? Cute, right. You can’t have it.
Anyway — last week was my first ever encounter of the PR kind.
After much n00b-like stumbling, awkwardly-worded pitch scripts and lots of hanging up in my face, I was finally bringing forth a media lead into fruition. After weeks and weeks of speaking very politely to hundreds of voicemails, this was huge. A human spoke to me on the other line. We made a mutual understanding that we would exist in the same place, at the same time. And when he’d said he’d call me back, he actually called me back.
I was like, this guy either has a crush on me or this is just how reporters work. I went with the latter.
So I show up in said place (early, thank you) armed with my most eager brown cardigan — he’d be interviewing a kid my non-profit works with, at an apprenticeship with a ridiculously charming baker. I imagined the social grace with which I’d handle this fool-proof cute-kid interview.
Laughing amicably with my new BFF’s, the reporter and the photographer.
Giggling over carrot cake samples.
Wiping frosting off of the tips of each others’ noses.
The sweet naivete of yesterweek.
Some of my favorite nuggets of photographer charm:
- “We can stop this whole name thing — I won’t remember anyone’s names anyway.”
- “You let them choose their profession in middle school? That’s freaking weird.”
- “Well. It’s a good thing I’m not writing this article.”
I wish I had some reportoquips to share — however, the most I heard from them… No, y’know, you can produce exactly what it sounded like, and how much he said, right now, as you read this.
Whisper the Pledge of Allegiance with your arm over your mouth.
I know, right? IT’S LIKE YOU’RE THERE.
I conducted the social bike crash with as much poise as I could possibly muster, though the situation was about as graceful as middle-school conflict management between the mommies of Tokyo and Godzilla. More than a few “tough crowd” jokes were attempted. Out loud. Crickets were struck mute by the awkwardness.
The room warmed up a bit later – y’know, like when they left – but I can’t help but feel grateful at that first delicious experience. You’re not a mommy till baby yaks on your new Donna Karen. You’re not a Trojan till you make fun of a Bruin.
And you’re not in PR until you find yourself thinking, “There is no PR skill in the world that could make this situation any less nasteh.”
What’s made you feel uncomfortable today?