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Biting the hand that bears gifts

It’s not often that we industry trade journalists get the cold shoulder from people we’re trying to contact for an article. But it does happen now and then. They send out a press release, which is a plea for attention, then don’t respond to the editor who is attempting to reach them for more information.    

   
I had a hang-up recently. Before I hardly got the words out of my mouth, the person I was trying to reach regarding a press release she sent, blurted, “No, thanks” and hung up the phone. Well, I did make a second phone attempt and then an e-mail, and she responded that she gets so many calls about magazine subscription renewals that when she hears the name of a magazine, she just automatically goes into negative mode.
   
Some refuse to talk to us because they think we’re trying to sell them an ad. Not that I wouldn’t like to sell them an ad—it’s just not my job. But if they want to buy an ad, I can put them in contact with those in our organization who do sell ads. At least take the time to learn the difference between “editorial” staff and “ad sales” personnel.
   
I remember a number of years ago trying to get a particularly well-known, large custom molder to talk to me for an article I was working on who consistently refused. No amount of pleading worked. Finally, the marketing person said, “We have enough customers and our customers know us and we know them. We don’t need other molders reading about us.”
   
Well, okay then! I’ve never called that company back ever again. If they have enough customers, more power to them. I’m happy for them! They don’t need the free publicity, so I’ll save that editorial space for a company who does and is grateful to get it.
   
I can respect the fact that everyone is busy, but the trade press is critical to any company’s marketing and sales strategy. No matter how good you think your own in-house publicity department is, the trade press lends credibility to your company’s name, and its products and services. So don’t spurn us. And you just might find out that there’s a company out there that is destined to become your next biggest and best-paying customer because they read about you in Modern Plastics Worldwide, Injection Molding Magazine, or PlasticsToday.com. —Clare Goldsberry

TAGS: Business
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