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.

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How to Pitch Your Thing to the Media: the AUDIO

So, finally, I have completed the editing of the audio for last month’s event with Stephen Quinn: How to Pitch Your Thing to the Media. Profuse thanks again to Mr. Quinn for his amazing generosity and enthusiasm throughout the entire organizing and carrying-out of the event.

Due to a few limitations that WordPress.com has for blogs hosted on their servers, the file is being stored over on the Atomic Fez Publishing web-site, in its own little Shebeen-dedicated folder. Thus, the MP3 ends up being declared an “outside source” by some anti-virus programmes and ad-block-based browser plug-ins. Should you get some sort of “hey! whattya doing! this could be bad!” warnings when you click the link below, reassure your software or browser that all is well, and to let you do what you want to.

Instead of clicking the little [PLAY] button immediately below and not moving for awhile, some of you might want to [right click] the words in the link, and select something like “Save link as…” or “Save target as…”, and thus download the file to listen to on your iPod or in the car, or wherever you listen to sound files that run 85 minutes in length.

How Not to Get the Media’s Attention

How Not to Get the Media’s Attention

How to Pitch Your Thing to the Media

Yes, that’s right, the file is nearly one hour-and-a-half long. I tried to trim out as much irrelevant material as possible — especially my prattling nonsense — but the problem is that Stephen Quinn is so gosh-darned informative and entertaining, that this is the shortest I could make it without taking forever to provide the audio. Hopefully Mr. Quinn will be amenable to returning in the near future so that we can hear more specifically on the topic of “journalism in the new millennium”, now that we’re in the post News of the World reality that he had the fortune of investigating whilst filling in at As it Happens this past fortnight.

The media package Mr. Quinn mentions at the 15 minute mark is the one you see in the photo above. An astonishingly odd piece of promotional material, even without the context that he places it within as part of his talk. Click the image for “biggification”.

The material Mr. Quinn plays is from Ira Basen’s six-part series “Spin Cycles”, which was twice run as part of CBC Radio1’s The Sunday Edition in 2007. You can learn more about that series — as well as access all six highly informative instalments — at this link RIGHT HERE.

I look forward to repeating the success of this event September 19th, upstairs at the Revel Room (on Abbott, between West Cordova and Trounce Alley).

June 20th: Pitching Your Thing to the Media

Whatever you have to pitch to the media for coverage — your band’s new record, your new publishing company, the fact you won a big shiny award — it’s not always easy to attract their attention. While different media outlets and platforms have their idiosyncrasies, there are general rules and techniques that always work (and not necessarily include tucking a bottle of whisky into the package, although that does help). Come to the June Meeting and learn or re-learn the rules, share your own tips about successful pitches, and generally sharpen your pitching techniques.

Additional fun includes hearing “Bad Pitch Horror Stories”: Pitches from Bitches! Don’t miss this evening’s zany hilarity!

As always, tickets are $20 in advance [Eventbrite Link] (available ’till June 16th) or $25 at the door, and that includes dinner and a drink. The venue for this month’s event only is the Shebeen Whisk(e)y House, in a separate building behind the Irish Heather at 210 Carrall Street, just steps from Maple Tree Square. For our July Event, we will return to Revel Room (238 Abbott Street just south of Gastown)

  • LOCATION: the Shebeen Whisk(e)y House, 210 Carrall Street, Gastown
  • JUST $20!! GET YOUR TICKETS HERE! [Eventbrite Link!] includes dinner!
  • …or, bring $25 cash on the evening
  • Monday, June 20th
    • 6:00 – 6:30 | meet & mingle
    • 6:30 – 7:00-ish | listen & learn
    • 7:00-ish – ?:00 | conversation & congregation

UPDATE Nº1: Menu is as follows

  • MEAT IS YUMMY: Grilled Pork Ribs, Homemade BBQ Sauce, Savoy Cabbage Slaw, Roasted Potatoes.
  • VEGETABLES ONLY: Crispy Polenta, Organic Tomato Sauce, Fresh Basil & Parmesan Shavings

PLEASE NOTE: The Shebeen Whisk(e)y House has a maximum capacity of 60 people, and we’re already half-way there. BUYING YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE IS A SMART MOVE.

UPDATE Nº2: WALK-UPS ARE OF LIMITED CAPACITY, DUE TO KITCHEN CAPABILITIES. Chances are if we run out of the above items, you can bob into the pup proper after the presentation and grab a bite there, having then given the cooks a chance to catch their breath.

SPECIAL VANCOUVER MEDIA GUEST: Globe & Mail columnist and the host of CBC Radio One’s On the Coast: Stephen Quinn!

Mr. Stephen Quinn

Mr. Stephen Quinn


Stephen Quinn began his reporting career in 1996, after graduating from BCIT’s ‘Broadcast Journalism’ program. During his last year of school, he interned at CBC’s “As it Happens” in Toronto during the last Quebec referendum. He returned to Vancouver and was hired by CKNW as a general assignment news reporter where he spent more than four years covering various court cases, crime stories, breaking news and Vancouver City Council.

In 2000, Mr. Quinn was hired by CBC Radio as a civic affairs reporter. He covered Vancouver City Council, Translink, the GVRD Board (now MetroVancouver) and other civic issues.

He was also an occasional guest host of CBC’s local current affairs programs “The Early Edition”, “B.C. Almanac” and “On the Coast”. He co-produced and hosted a radio series on the 2005 provincial election campaign which won the RTNDA’s ‘Ron Laidlaw Award for Continuing Coverage’. He was also the recipient of the RTNDA’s ‘Gord Sinclair Award for Special Programming’ in 2009. Mr. Quinn has also been part of numerous award-winning newscasts and has received one honourable mention from the Jack Webster Foundation. He is creator of “Quinn’s Quiz”, a popular radio segment that first appeared on “The Early Edition”.

He has guest-hosted “Freestyle”, “Sounds Like Canada”, and “Q” for CBC National Radio. He has also produced and hosted a series on the media for CBC’s “The Current”.

In 2008 he was hired as the host of “On the Coast”, CBC Radio’s local afternoon show in Metro Vancouver.

Mr. Quinn grew up in Ottawa, Ont. where he attended Lisgar Collegiate Institute. He moved to Vancouver in 1983.

Fucking Writers’ Conferences: how do they work?

This is our April topic. I can drop an F bomb in it because the speaker said it was okay, and that was because the speaker is me and I’m the one who puts the PRO in profanity, right? Damn straight.

This month we’re on the 4th Tuesday instead of the 3rd Monday, but oh well, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, eh? And we’ll be starting at 6pm instead of 7, and it’s all cash, $20 a head for the set meal. Everybody gets the earlybird price this month.

There’s been a bit of chaos around Shebeen Global HQ this month, but we’re finally organized. We’ll be in the Revel Room upstairs again, from 6-8 or so. This way you don’t have to grab a snack before the meeting!

I’ll be speaking about how to get the most from a writer’s conference, and having been on the board of a couple and an attendee and speaker at more than I can count without taking off my shoes, I have a lot to share. If you do too, we want to hear from you.

And don’t forget the Women&Words conference this coming Friday and Saturday. Guess who’ll be speaking there as well? [insert smiley of your choice, as I am far too bloody dignified to use them myself]

By the way, if you have a favorite conference, please do drop a link to them in the comments. The more the merrier, and it’d be great to do one grand roundup post of all the conferences within reach of BC.

CBC Senior Communications Position

A new job has come in over the transom: this one’s primarily marketing, so may the best Canadian Content pimp win!

(I am sure the CBC is horrified by that, but oh well!)

Communications, Community Outreach & Marketing Professional

CBC/Radio-Canada – Vancouver, Canada Area

Job Description

Pour lire cette offre d’emploi en français, SVP visitez notre site web: http://www.radio-canada.ca/emplois et cherchez sous l’offre: VAN00360

If you are interested in public broadcasting and strive to take pride in what you do, look no further. This is the place for you. The national public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada will give you the opportunity to work on projects you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

CBC British Columbia is seeking a dynamic marketing communications professional with a passion for community development and public broadcasting. As a Senior Communications Officer you will be instrumental in raising the profile of CBC British Columbia across the Province. You bring an innovative spirit to your work, and thrive in fast paced environments. If you are a marketing pro with a community background then this is the job for you!

Desired Skills & Experience

We are looking for candidates with the following profile:

Develop and implement strategic, integrated marketing plans to promote local TV, radio, online and community programming in BC.

Create and execute innovative marketing strategies for online and social media platforms.

Diversify and manage CBC Vancouver’s community sponsorship and partnership program through the negotiation and coordination of strategic partnerships.

Superior negotiation skills and the ability to navigate complex issues to bring about agreement.

Write, edit and produce a range of marketing materials (print and broadcast); Write and produce television, radio and online promotions.

Conceptualize and develop publicity concepts and approaches, including developing and pitching story ideas to appropriate media, developing and producing supporting visual and print materials, organizing publicity activities, directing photo shoots and handling a wide variety of media inquiries and requests.

Imaginative, resourceful and always ready with a solution to a challenge or suggestion for a more effective/efficient way to do business.

Ability to work flexible hours often at short notice depending on activities and events.

Sense of humour.

Working knowledge of Vancouver’s diverse communities and an established network within those communities.

Demonstrated public speaking and networking skills. Success in crafting dynamic and persuasive presentations.

Graduation from University or Community College with a diploma or certificate in Public Relations or Communications, or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.

Minimum of five years direct experience in promotion and marketing. Job also requires demonstrated superior writing skills, leadership, creativity, strategic thinking, planning, organizational ability and interpersonal skills. Knowledge of CBC radio and television broadcasting is required.