I actually made a publicist HAPPY today. Ordinarily I wouldn’t find this to be such a noteworthy event except that my encounters with the breed have been less than satisfactory of late.
A couple of months ago I began attempting to procure an interview and much to my surprise, the publicist proved to be an expert in the task of ignorance. No, I’m not saying she’s stupid, but that she ignored me like no one else has managed to since that really cute football player I had a crush on during those awkward adolescent years. After a certain amount of what could be called tenacity or nagging, depending on your perspective, I finally received a very cold and abrupt dismissal.
Disappointed and somewhat bruised, I consulted a colleague whose response “I avoid them if at possible” did not restore my faith in rectifying the situation. Even more disturbed, I sought advice from my secret weapon, a friend I’ve known since age 8 who also happens to be a literary publicist in NYC. Her words, while much more helpful, still resonated with “Some of them just have power issues. They’ve been treated like crap so now they like to revisit on that others”. Hardly inspiring.
Follow that up with an email newsletter I received from another publicist Ive known since he was a hapless indie musician struggling to get his music heard. Apparently he’s decided to start this newsletter for indie musicians, about struggles with publicity, getting your music to the right people, blah blah etc etc. Interesting enough, this guy never thought to include me (as a writer) or the magazine in general in this little project. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be an issue, I’m not that arrogant but I’ve done oodles of this guy, both for his career and that of his clients, and we’re more than just professional associates. We’ve shared beers – I think I may have an incriminating photo or two of the guy. Yet he’s done nothing since becoming a publicist but pretty much take advantage of what we do over here while cooborating with other publications and industry types. It’s truly to the point where I’ve considered telling him not to bother me with his clients; we most certainly have enough artists clamoring for coverage over here.
Am I overreacting? Is this just a case of, as my esteemed co-conspirator put it, men being more self-absorbed than women and therefore not considering the cooperative approach to things?
So you can see I’ve been treading the minefield of publicists. Therefore, when I received this grateful and complimentary email I was taken aback (and considered searching for explosives). At least I know there’s still hope.