Persistence is a Virtue: a case study

In which I am shown to possess a virtue, which would be news to a lot of people.

Persistence pays off. About six months ago I heard about a media startup, backed by a billionaire, with a social justice mandate and a partiality for investigative journalism. I, along with everyone else in the news media, applied. I heard nothing back. Two months later I see an article saying they’re hiring for pre-launch, it has a different email address, I send my application in there, I hear nothing back. Two months after that, I hear that an editor I know very slightly (from commenting on his website for ten years) has been hired as editor in chief, so I dig up his personal email and send him my resume and clips. I hear nothing back, so I dig up his email at the NEW site, which is now live. I email him there. Nothing for a week and a half, then “Hey, I didn’t know you were a reporter! Can you send me some more clips and some pitches” so I do. Then, nothing for weeks. I read another article about how they’re actively looking for freelancers, so I take our email conversation, forward it to the email address in that article and ask, “So, are we approaching the point of a formal No, or are we still in play here?” and I get back an email with an apology, his cellphone number, and the request to “Dial relentlessly until I pick up the phone.” So I do. 12 hours later I have an agreement to freelance for a very, very high-profile startup with serious financial backing.

 

EDITED TO NOTE: I would have skipped sending things in that One Last Time, except two good friends nagged me on Facebook even in the face of my “oh, I already tried a million times” so there’s two people who just skipped to the head of the line of People I Owe Dinner To.

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Special Story Writing Friends Needed!

…and by “special” we mean exactly what you think we do.

The big bad grammar Nazi

The big bad grammar Nazi

This is the Craigslist Ad of the Week, from the Writing Opportunities section of the Victoria, BC Craigslist. Whether this is a greater opportunity for writing or for derision is an open question, but it won’t be after you read the full ad. Here’s a teeny teaser.

It’ll be like Xman meets Harry Potter. I’ve got so many stories inside me. & more manifest! This is your Door. Watch my YouTube videos?! I need to put out. Help!! <3

[What’s the old saying? Beware of shamans who want to put out for you?]

I’ve got a story about a couple that traveled to hold really special party’s wile racking up really dope radical siblings & social life. Sick connections as they traveled the lands of their world with objective & uncanny timing. Their target is to find & provide a four day super positive metamorphic catalystic work space for safe people who want to really activate their superpowers right away.

To hold this gathering, we find & rent someone’s house, but not a small one. Then make sure you have at least 27 people are coming to attend this fore day break through session. $20.oo a head at the least. What happens is; there’s several songs that are potent light spells. Filled with carefully worded positive & uplifting affirmations. Loads a inner self supportive collective consciousness. Reinforced with lyrics to conger energy’s of safe love & protection.

I can definitely see at least 27 people wanting to pay $20.oo a head at the least for “fore” days of this. Yew betcha. If, again, only for the comedy value.

You fast on Day Two, and on Day Three 80% of you get acid. The other 20% get the shaft, I suppose. He does want to put out. Well, it doesn’t say “acid” specifically. It says “A equally porssoned mixed halusigenic liquid supplement…to conger energy’s of safe love & protection.”

But not, apparently, grammar, spelling, or punctuation.

Please, please, can someone I know go to this and take notes?

h/t Steffani Cameron

Job: External Communications Specialist at VanCity

Vancity. Make GOOD money.

Vancity. Make GOOD money.

Found this on LinkedIn, I think. Anyway, if I were sticking around I might apply for it but as I’m going to be traveling for the next year or so, it’s all yours. May the best External Communications Specialist win!

Job Details

Requisition Number 13-1251
Post Date 10/17/2013
Close Date 11/1/2013
Title External Communications Specialist
Employee Type Contract
Employee Schedule Full-Time
Job Category Communications
City Vancouver
Province BC
Description External Communications Specialist

With exceptional listening and compassion skills, and the ability to translate Vancity’s Good Money™ brand promise to our members, you will have excellent writing skills and a solid understanding of content strategies.  This will be complemented by three years of related experience and a specialized post-secondary diploma or degree in communications or a related field.

The External Communications Specialistreports directly into the Manager Communications (external).

Key areas of accountability for this role are:

  • Research, write, edit, and provide recommendations to publish materials to enable the execution of communications plans.
  • Assist the communications team in creating and maintaining content in internal and external Vancity channels.
  • Plan and coordinate logistics for organization wide events and meetings.
  • Assist in media monitoring, gathering and analyzing data to measure effectiveness of media plan and other communications plans.

Here at Vancity, we have a consistent set of expectations for all employees:

  • Work effectively and with full commitment on the tasks assigned by your manager.
  • Give your manager your best advice.
  • Stay within policy.
Qualifications Competencies:

  • Solid business acumen in the context of the financial industry.
  • Solid analytical skills to review information, detect anomalies, and investigate and resolve discrepancies.
  • Solid problem solving and decision making skills to apply specific standards and guidelines to the work; escalating unresolved issues to senior staff
  • Solid knowledge of the concepts, practices and techniques of the related field.
  • Solid knowledge of Vancity strategies, functions and programs.
  • Solid communication and interpersonal skills to act as a resource for the specialized area, providing specialized advice, guidance, explanations, and related support; and also to participate development of program content.

Education:

The competencies for this position would typically be acquired through a specialized post-secondary diploma in a communications discipline or general undergraduate degree.

Experience:

2 to 3 years related experience.

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We commit to creating a welcoming, inclusive workplace and to working with people and communities to help them thrive and prosper. Diversity is integral to this commitment. Our diversity allows us to fully understand, connect to, and respond to the needs of our members and communities.

Sound like a good fit? Put your outstanding skills to use with an organization that promotes work-life-balance, accountability-based leadership and member-led innovation that creates community impact. Apply online today!

Selah.

Tyee Master Classes for Fall

Get your Weegee on

Get your Weegee on

Got this from Facebook. If I were certain to be around for it, I’d take the investigative journalism one with Sean Holman; I kick ass online, but put me in an archive and it’s like something out of Encino Man.

Get up to speed on new media law, investigative skills or digital campaigning. Three new expert-led classes this fall.

For info on all classes: http://thetyee.ca/About/Master-Classes/

Peep the class lineup and spread the word!

Class #1
Date: Saturday, October 27, 2012
Instructor: Leo McGrady
Title: Responsible Journalism in 2012: The Changing Legal Landscape for Journalists
More info: http://thetyee.ca/About/Fall-2012-Leo-McGrady/
Class #2
Date: Saturday, November 10, 2012
Instructor: Sean Holman
Title: Finding Stories in Public Documents: Intro to Investigative Journalism
More info: http://thetyee.ca/About/Fall-2012MasterClass-SeanHolman/Class #3
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Instructor: Bill Tieleman
Title: How to Beat the Odds: Low-Budget Campaigns that Win
More info: http://thetyee.ca/About/Fall-2012-MasterClass-BillTieleman/

All classes held in Vancouver at The Tyee’s newsroom (211 Georgia St. East). For questions, please contact Meaghan MacDonald at mmacdonald@thetyee.ca or 604-689-7489.

See you there!

Selah.

Clients from Hell: the Clueless Client from Hell

The Fraud Triangle

The Fraud Triangle

Occasionally one comes across a Client from Hell that you’re actually grateful for: assoholics who self-identify only seconds into the first interaction save the writer a great deal of time in the long run. First, it enables you to refuse to work with the person. Secondly, should you decide to go ahead, it enables you to triple the price before formulating the proposal.

Client: Hello! I am a much-anticipated brand new author and would be most humbled and honored if you would market my new book.

Me: I am happy to market anything you’d like. Just go ahead and purchase a service from me and I’ll get started.

Client: I was wondering if you would also be posting reviews to my book’s Amazon page? I am trying to increase my book sales, so I really need Amazon reviews.

Me: I don’t do fake reviews. I am happy to actually market your book and come up with a formal marketing plan for you.

Client: Why no reviews?

Me: Because if readers see that you have a bunch of fake reviews on your book, it will mean that they will a) not buy your book, and/or b) launch a war against your book because it has fake reviews. It is not in your best interest to go that route and I work on things that will actually build your reputation, not destroy it before you’ve had a chance to establish one. I’d be happy to build an honest marketing plan with you.

Client: That’s redundant. I have a marketing plan.

Me: Oh?

Client: Yeah. I will be getting someone to write Amazon reviews.

People get the marketing plans they deserve, sometimes.