Oh how close we came

Someone asked about this story at Podcamp Toronto… so here it is..

It was early spring 2005. Podcasting was still but a blip on the new media radar. We (Cat and I) were one of the first “couple-casts” out of Canada, having started in December 2004. We received an email from a journalist who wanted to write a story about Canadian podcasting for Maclean’s (the Canadian Newsweek-ish type magazine). So we schedule time, and Cat and I get interviewed for what seemed like a long time, maybe a couple of hours. After the interview, a few emails go back and forth, then nothing. We start to think the story hasn’t been picked up.

A few weeks later, an elated email from the journalist tells us that they’re going to run the story, but they need a few pictures first. We arrange a convenient time, and a professional photographer shows up. This wasn’t a guy with a $200 camera, this was the “real deal” professional equipment, lighting, the whole works.

He takes something like 40-50 pictures of us ..doing a show, inside the house, outside, individual shots, couple shots, the works.. This was our only exposure to this kind of picture taking other than our wedding photos, so it was very exciting for us.

A few days after the shoot, we hear back from the author of the article, it should be in the issue in two weeks. We’re ecstatic, as well as being very cool, it’ll be great publicity for the show. How cool!!

Two weeks pass, nothing. We get assurances from both the author and the magazine that the story will run. We wait.

And wait..

“Any News yet?” “Should be very soon..”

We wait some more..

“Any news yet?” “any day now”

We wait again..

Then, a few months later. I ask her straight out “Was the story killed?” “Well, there’s been some reorganization at the magazine, but it’s still in the queue. If it doesn’t run I’ll send you the article, because I’d like you to read it..”…

That was June 30, 2005. We never heard from her again.

We were quite bummed, this was “our shot” at appearing in a National Magazine, and in a way to be rewarded for being ahead of the podcasting curve. Instead, it soured us on print media and the way our time was wasted for nothing.

The fact that the author never followed through on her promise to at least let us read the article and see the pictures is probably the worst part. We could understand the decision process that would have to perfectly align for our story to appear in a (once) big magazine, but her failure to deliver on her simple promise bugs me to this day.

The moral of the story – If you promise something to someone, deliver it, or at least deliver a good reason why you couldn’t.

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2 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    Interesting that this whole event occurred around the time we met. It’s nice to have that historical frame of reference of Tod’s comment to notify you guys of the meetup in Ottawa.

    So, if Maclean’s wants to send a reporter to PAB, what do we say?

  2. julien says:

    i agree. i’ve been taken advantage of a bit by TV shows, and am significantly more wary of them now. i trust my own people a lot more.

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