Today I received an invite from a PR company to attend a party for a major client of theirs. The invite does not stipulate much other than “come party with us and revel in the excitement”.
Perhaps to the lay person any excuse to party with free booze and makan would be welcomed with open arms but for a journo, the first thought that comes to mind is, “this event is for what one har?”
Every other day or so I’ll receive a cryptic invites to events promising “very very very very exciting”, “groundbreaking”, “jaw-dropping” extravaganzas which I HAVE to attend because I’d be absolutely retarded not to.
And after some probing (if I’m really curious and I have time while waiting for my cab to take me home at 11pm) I usually find out whatever’s being launched or celebrated at the event is usually not relevant to my publication.
I like parties as much as the next guy but I also like a really good, succinct pitch.
Tell me what the party or event is for, if for some reason you HAVE to keep it secret until we walk through your door, please whisper the secret to me while pitching. My colleagues and I have no time to attend events that PROMISE something newsworthy.
I hate to turn people down and I used to get really uncomfortable doing it but nowadays I won’t even flinch.
And many times after I turn down invites, the sweet voice at the other end of the line asks if I’ll be sending one of my journos down. The short answer is, if it’s not good enough for me, it’s not good enough for them.