Wander Wednesday

April 23, 2008

I did a bunch of record-keeping today and lined up a bunch of potential articles and features in and around the city. Unfortunately I was once again reminded that I have to be thinking much more like a magazine editor and event planner than a simple seat-of-my-pants freelancer.

What I mean by that is that if I fail to think of events that are three, six and nine months away, I’ll fail to acquire press credentials for the occasions I want to cover.

This was proven to me in no uncertain terms this week as two local event organizers denied my request for medial passes. The first was IFFBoston – the Independent Film Festival of Boston – and the other was ROFL Boston.

The film festival granted me credentials last year and I was able to get one column and a bunch of background info for blog entries and other pieces. This year it snuck up on me and they didn’t have room for another reporter.

ROFL is a new media event and their online literature was a little unclear so I didn’t see that registration had closed until the other morning. I wanted to register as an attendee and just go to the conference, but I figured I still had a shot as a writer. I was wrong. They gave out all of their media credentials and the rep from ROFL sent me a note saying they were so amazed and overwhelmed with the attention and registration numbers that they couldn’t fit even one more body.

In both cases I should have acted sooner. But I also wonder what steps I can take going forward to ensure that organizers take me more seriously. As a freelancer I have a collection of powerful clips to attract event staff and convince them that I’m serious about my craft.

But their main responsibility is opening the doors to people who already have assignments to write about their event. That usually doesn’t happen for freelancers. So unless I think way ahead and get some editors to assign me to cover an event (a more news-reporter gig than a column or feature gig), then I will continue to miss some of these opportunities.

The other approach I could take is pay my own freight and then seek reimbursement after the fact from the publications that buy my pieces.

Just a little wake-up call that I wanted to share.

Keep reading.