Tuesday turned out to be a very busy day for me with not only the breakfast meeting with the Chamber of Commerce that I wrote about last week, but also an appearance on a panel of journalists in the evening at KLIC.
I’ve heard detractors of the KLIC but I must say that I am always rather impressed whenever I visit it.
Airy and bright, it seems to tick all the boxes.
And as was pointed out, the standard of canapes, on this occasion at least, was very impressive.
I had been invited along to talk to a group of businessmen and entrepreneurs about media promotion.
The ebullient host urged us to be “as brutal as you like” with telling people what the common mistakes were when sending press releases to the media.
Well, there are some peeves but to be honest, on the whole, we are genuinely very happy to receive your missives, even if some of them don’t always tell us everything we need to know, so it was a little hard to get into character as a hard man.
But I did my best. My fellow panel member (a third one was a no-show) looked even more dubious. A very nice lady from a glossy on the North Norfolk coast, I don’t think she was from the Kelvin Mackenzie school of ranting journalists.
Of course, the first thing I said was was “talk to us ... send us your emails, if it is interesting we’ll soon get back to you”.
Which prompted the chap on the front row, who I thought had been giving me a rather severe look, to promptly declare that last year he had sent in no less than three emails to my paper about his IT invention, never had so much as a reply and that he had never been able to get through to the person it had been sent to on the phone!
The room fixed me with what I was sure was a contemptuous glare.
“Em ... ahh... well, very sorry, I er, er ...” I spluttered in reply, eventually recovering enough to apologise profusely and promise to personally deal with it.
I can’t promise we’ll reply to every email we get (we get an awful lot) but simple politeness should mean we make contact where it is demanded.
I had a very pleasant chat with the audience member afterwards and look forward to hearing from him (indeed he may even do a column for us) but it just goes to show that when one is in the public eye you run the risk of being shot down, I suppose.
Apart from that little hiccup the evening seemed to go quite well. Some people there had been at my talk at the Chamber of Commerce in the morning, so they certainly got their fill of me. But everyone was very nice (or very polite).
It was a useful exercise for me at least. When making contact with us, do try to set out clearly and concisely what you want to convey. Bullet points can help to clarify the most important points.
Please send decent-size file jpgs as pictures (about 1mb is fine) and always put in contact telephone numbers that we can actually reach you on.
We’ll get back to you – honest!