I was checking my Gmail for the fifteenth time in 20 minutes when it occurred to me that I should be taking more time with my interviews. Perhaps I should prepare with a list, or some similar device where all my questions and fears will be answered.
Wait, oh no, I just totally forgot the AP rules on numbers! AHHHHH!!!!
Moving on, The Editorialiste was kind enough to pass along to me an email from his alma mater about tips for networking and—wait, meeting every single editor from the
“Come meet, mingle and munch with editors, producers and others. Chat about how to pitch freelance articles, get production work (or other opportunities) at places like Metro, Time Out New York, Essence magazine, Dan Rather Reports, Brooklyn Rail, NY1 News, Manhattan Media properties, Black Enterprise, Budget Travel.com, LifetimeTV.com, Details magazine, Village Voice, Chelsea Now, Moose Productions and more.”
Oh my stars and garters, AND there’s no RSVP needed? AND I need to be a student there?
Well, a pox on that. Especially when it seems like that silly J-Dept can’t even keep up with their original class load.
Well, let me see. What are the suggestions to make an impact?
Make One Great Contact -- Don't feel compelled to "work the room." Instead, set a goal of making one great contact -- someone new who you commit to communicating with after the event. Remember to ask for a business card.
Oh, I can do this one! I once got someone’s business card after I spent the night playing dice with them and doing a shot of Goldschläger.
Reach Out -- Approach an individual who is standing alone. They may appreciate your reaching out to them. Also, it's hard to break into a group unless you're invited.
Okay, be nice to the freak. Got it. So this means AM NY, Metro and The L Magazine, or Dan Rather’s company?
Use a Neutral Ice-Breaker -- Begin each conversation with a smile, eye contact and an outstretched hand. Break the ice by asking a neutral open-ended question such as "Why did you decide to come to this event?"
“Do you like liquor? I have a flask.”
This is the true way into any journalist’s heart. Don’t ever forget it.
Give First -- Focus your conversation on learning about the person you are meeting -- who they are, where they work, what their responsibilities include -- and how you can help them (not how they can help you).
…well, this is a bold-faced lie. And in bold in the original e-mail. Fitting.
Follow-up -- Use the 48-hour rule. Within 48 hours of a networking event, follow-up with anyone you met who you'd like to stay in touch with. Send an email letting the other person know you enjoyed meeting them and hope you will meet again. In the same email, share any other information you think may be of help to them (for example your resume and clips or more details about a story idea you mentioned.)
Wow, how true! If only journalists weren’t so awful about following up to young urchins that will knife them in the back at the first chance they get in order to steal their job, get a book deal and then sleep with Nick Denton*.
Yes, thanks to these new rules, I will be rolling in more jobs than an analogy about a large number. I’ll be wearing feather boas and strutting around 30 Rock in no time. Why…oh, crap, I got to turn in by deadline. Till next time.-MS
*Note: I mean, listen, how else do you think you work at Gawker? It’s like Mr. Show says: the world revolves around blowjobs. And mainly giving them to Nick Denton. Or Jason Calcanis. And yes, David Hauslaib, but that doesn’t mean anything. More likely, it just means you’ve met David Hauslaib.