That first pitch

Let me tell you a secret.

I am secretly phobic of calling up absolute strangers.

And non-strangers.

Unless I’ve known you donkey’s years, I am very likely not calling you, not because I dislike you, but because I am secretly terrified. Over the years, though, I’ve tempered that fear somewhat and if it’s just calling the gas man, the plumber, or Maxis Wireless Internet then I’m fine. Mostly I call the latter to yell at them. Long story.

Unfortunately my job requires me not only to call people I don’t know personally, but to bounce story ideas off them.

Guess what I had to do yesterday?

So I called up a certain editor, at a certain newspaper, about a pitch, and I wondered if she could just hear or feel the nervousness coming off me in waves.

Maybe she did. But whether she did or not, she was pleasant, kind and very interested in the angle.

Of course she also made a few enquiries that made me squirm about answering; she certainly has her journalistic instincts intact.

The policy at The Agency is we never promise the impossible, but what we do promise, we deliver.

The last thing I wanted to do was promise said editor things I couldn’t give her/her writer.

Said editor was awesome, and surprisingly patient when I tumbled over my sentences.

Had to call her again today, and it was a great phone call. Fingers crossed at the results of said call, but I’m glad that my first pitch didn’t end up in utter disaster.

The worst thing that could have happened was that she hang up on me.

Which would require me to repeat the whole cycle and call her again.

I now wish I was a little less curt with all those PR noobs and interns when they called me up about releases. But then, those other agencies really shouldn’t have those people call me up just to ask if I’ve received a fax.

But that’s a whole other story.

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