We own a company that attempts to sell to the same people who we “cover.” This model works fairly well when people choose to purchase advertising or at least treat us fairly, but what about the ones who don’t? This is my biggest challenge.
I want to provide the best coverage of enterprise publishing and business communications possible, but I also don’t want my head to explode when I have to deal with someone who has treated us like shit. And by that I mean: lied to us or didn’t have the courtesy to even reply. If that’s the grade ‘A’ jerks, then grade ‘B’ are the ones who just constantly waste our time saying “well, we’re thinking about it” and “what if you ran just one more article to help me convince my boss. For the record, it’s not about companies / marketing people who say ‘no’, it’s the weasels who, are, well, weasels. Or wimps. Or passive aggressive, which make me go “why the heck would we want to promote your product”?
My knee-jerk reaction is to, and has been, to wipe them off the website – no coverage – and move on, but what if no one other than our current list of advertisers really want to run ads and work with us? And some of this is because we’ve locked them out or I spent time removing them from my contacts list on LinkedIn and they figured it out?
One option is to wait until we’re big enough that it really doesn’t matter what they think, but they have to work with us and the other option is to find some type of Zen balance in my life. The option I’m choosing is a little of both, which is to relax now but remember for later.
Now, I completely get why editorial is separate from business development in most publishers. It’s ridiculously hard to separate the battle scars from BD from the need to develop good information. It’s especially hard for me because, well, my temperament is better designed for working well with strangers and people who are respectful. I can work with those people, but the idea of helping some ass who doesn’t have the manners to just say no? I’d rather pull the pin and take my chances.
I guess I still have a little work left before finding my Zen.