“Jayvee Fernandez? Who are you?” The girl at the registration table didn’t see my name on the list. I double checked — I knew I had confirmed with the PR agency a couple of days ago. But this was getting embarrassing as I was holding up the line. I must say that It is awkward to be writing for a technology magazine — with decent circulation — and be cock-blocked this way.
“I wish Adel and Howard were here,” as two of my senior colleagues from the magazine I wrote for could have just waltzed in even without a press ID. I envied that position. Not the editorial position they had on the mast head, but the position of authority they held because of the fearlessness of what they wrote. And the credibility.
That was in 2006.
Today is different. Four years later I, as much as possible, shun events. I shun the PR play (but maybe not the buffet). Four years later, I’ve learned the art of saying NO, so that you become more coveted. Four years later, I am relevant. Not as someone from the media or as a blogger. “I” am relevant.
Go and make a name for yourself. Don’t waste time in events. Don’t wait for news to come to you. Go and be awesome. Detract from the trail of the script they give you in press conferences. Let your personality shine. If you want them to respect blogs, then give them a reason to.
Don’t go to the PR guy. Go direct to client.
Respect the PR guy. He can help you in the future when things get sticky.
But first, write something awesome. Not in praise of the machinations of the PR industry, but in praise of free speech. Write it well.
Do it again.
Push yourself to say more than the obvious.
Don’t take photos. Cull emotions. Don’t drown it with text.
Be indignant about the status quo. Change it.
Change your template also.
Be more informed than them.
Be friendly. Be more than friendly. Be controversial.
Don’t whine. Don’t complain.
Say no sometimes.
Use keywords. But also be brazened.
End with a bang.