First a hung parliament, then a hung grandfinal. A year of inflated hype and promises with unsatisfying results. I’m pleased to report that pitch fever is no exception.
Last week was declared the week of Great Telephonic Pitching Project. It should have been declared the week of rude switch-bitches, leaving voicemail messages, panicked hang ups by yours truly at the point of contact, unreturned calls, more voicemail messages, the occasional flustered editor not knowing what I was talking about, and one minor breakthrough in the form of a request for more information. Only problem was the request was for photos of the ‘worlds oldest village’ pitch and on the day I happened to be there it was raining so torrentially we couldn’t get out of the car. So the photos look a bit like a distant grey blur of a what might be a large puddle and not, in fact, stone huts and ancient eel traps as promised. What are the ethical considerations on pinching some stock photos in these trying times?
As it turns out, the most phone action I got was not actually the kind I was bargaining on. During the week I was asked to interview my very-first-actual-real-life-band, the Hungry Kids of Hungary. If you haven’t heard these boys, YouTube them immediately. You will understand my excitement: any band fulfilling my lifelong dream of levitating above a city using helium balloons warrants worshipping in my books. But the conditions: 20 minutes maximum. Over the phone. Here I was thinking I’d casually get a mobile number and give them a tinkle, but it turns out interviewing moderately famous bands is a serious business involving third party conference call suppliers and an automated termination once your time is up. First lesson of freelance interviewing officially learnt: record, record, record. I have three pages of unintelligible notes that I’m now attempting to decipher. It turns out references to band members Ben, Kane, Dean and Ryan all look identical in shorthand scribble (what are the odds of so many n’s, a’s and e’s in one quintet?)
While I wait for a editors to return calls I’m embarking on a new strategy that’s much more satisfying than last weeks exercise in cold calling. With under a month to go till the finish line, I’m making the next 7 days National recycling week. Sure, the official week is in November, but I’ve always been a firm believer that every week should be environmentally conscious, so why not approach pitching in the same way? Ignored by Body and Soul? Rehash the story for Women’s Health. Slighted by HR Leader? See if BRW will give it a whirl. Snubbed by Bacon Busters? Well, there’s not really anywhere else that story could go. But in a similar vein, Beer and Brewer magazine pay their contributors in brewing kits, and I’ve always wanted to dabble in the dark arts of hops and barley. I wonder if there’s a market for recycled beer?