The most disappointing day of work, everrr.

5 03 2009
I feel small, and on the verge of tears.

I feel small, and on the verge of tears.

Today, I let myself down. Down so hard I feel like I let everyone else down.

The situation: I was coordinating a media event yesterday at the Rayburn Building in Washington DC. Students and teachers made up a delegation that were presenting to legislators on The Hill with instructional classroom technology. Exciting tools for the 21st Century classroom that are supported in the education stimulus. Hosted by Congressman Jack Kingston’s office, these students had ongoing presentation in 5 stations in the lobby of the Rayburn. I had invited education publications, major print news outlets, local broadcast news stations, all the way up to Fox News and CNN.

The problem: Nobody could confirm because if you have not noticed there is a shortage of staffing everywhere. Journalists are up to their noses in assignments and news tips that breeze by their desk daily. There is no relief and thus a really great story was sidelined by whatever headlines are on the stands today. Apparently, I was informed that a Prime Minister was in attendance.

In hindsight: I felt like I performed to the best of my ability given the timeliness that this event was presented to my inbox. I had 1 week to pitch this story and it takes me a 1/2 day to scouring the internet for relevant contacts that would best cover the beat of this story. I usually have 3-4 wks to prepare for an event, but I rolled with the punches. I am more aware to develop more creative ways to garner attention around the stories I pitch for our clients and explore unconventional outlets when I feel like my story is not being well-received.

I will admit; however, that I was riding on a high from pitching a regional event in Nashville from the day before. I managed to snag two news stations and The Tennessean. My tactics tend to work for a smaller media market, now I need to manifest those skills into the larger playing field. DC is a hot bed for information. I need to hone my skills to capture the attention of the district. I thought personalized pitches would be well-received. I obviously have more learning to do. I would love to hear any advice of comments about breaking into a major media market. Today I will work on follow-up stories in Georgia and I hope I can put something together on AP newswire in Atlanta. I will also try to force my hand for post-event interviews with the delegation that travelled to DC. I have my work cut out for me if I am going to earn redemption, just in my own eyes.

I am so thankful for good friends who promptly checked in on my and the tweet-love from my colleagues. I am even more thankful that I am harder on myself than anyone else I work with because I don’t think I could take the scrutiny. I’ll let you know how it goes at the end of the month, I have an event in Memphis and an America’s Promise event– I am just praying I don’t screw up for Colin Powell!




2 responses

5 03 2009

You did your best, right? Is there anything you could have done better/differently? Probably not. You cannot control others’ behaviors and you can’t beat yourself up for that.

I really want to get started on a rant about how major media outlets in this country don’t really care about education and don’t cover it. My husband reads The Hindu (the major Indian newspaper) and always points out the stories about education that you would NEVER see in U.S. mainstream media. So that, too, was working against you.

Do you have any material (videos, transcripts, photos, etc.) that you can use to generate some publicity post-event? Try to make the best out of what you have and get some more publicity, but don’t linger on this one too long. (I just saw your tweet about moving on. All right!)

Sorry I missed you this weekend, but let me know if you’re in Clemson again.

5 03 2009

Colin Powell, eh? Big shot you are!

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