For those who thought my post was unkind to PR assistants...

... here's reviewer Jan Miller in Poets & Writers on practical techniques for publicists (and authors) to work with freelance literary journalists, basic things that many fail to follow (like "know our calendar"). My post last month ("It's the system that's the monster" in archives) actually concerned the way the publishing industry exploits young, underpaid assistants (just as journalism and movie-making do). But some of the attention it gained on the internet came from my characterization of many assistants as office cannon fodder. Because they have to serve canapes at book release parties, schedule book tours, cold-call the media, write press releases, ferry manuscripts and do a million other office (and late-night and weekend) drudgeries, they often aren't that knowledgeable or helpful to journalists because they simply can't keep up with the deluge. And this, it seemed to me, is a wretched way to handle publicity and, lest we forget, intelligent human beings.

In her gentle way, Ms. Miller more or less confirms this. I might add that whatever Ms. Miller has experienced as a freelancer, it's one-twentieth of what hits a newspaper's book office and voicemail.

January 9, 2007 8:56 AM |



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This page contains a single entry by book/daddy published on January 9, 2007 8:56 AM.

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