Saturday, June 09, 2007

Where Credit Isn't Due

In conjunction with my employer's big convention, aka assembly, of weekend last (I may or may not write about it in detail later: stay tuned) , it fell upon me as the Communications Department (yes, I am the department--editor, writer, art director, media manager, photographer, photo editor, publisher, and copyboy, all rolled into one) to send out gobs of what I still like to call press releases knowing full well that non-print media prefers to have them called media releases. Whatever. Since this year's assembly involved a big election, I sent lots of releases and got lots of ink and pixels in return.

It's interesting, and amusing, to track the permutations of these releases via Google and Google News. (Oddly, I get slightly different hits using the same search terms on Google and Google News. Go figure.) This led me to send e-mail to a couple-three far-flung correspondents regarding the propriety of my now claiming all of these various sources that used my release verbatim or nearly so as places where "my work" has "been published."

Unfortunately, one or two of the far-flungeds seemed to think I was serious, and replied seriously. This leaves me with the dilemma of how now to look like an idiot while at the same time not making them look like idiots. There are those who will tsk-tsk and say it's the because e-mail is an inferior communications medium, rife with the possibility of misunderstandings such as this. To which, after much thought, I reply: hooey! The written language has been around for a little while now, and with scant reliance on "emoticons" or "smileys" abbreviations or any other crap to indicate the placement of tongue-in-cheek.

Anyhow, I as usual digress. The point is that now my CV is crammed to bulging with all of these new places where "my work" has "appeared." No idea how I will keep up with it all.

It then occurred to me that I have been short-changing myself for years now, for I can in complete honesty say that "my writing" has appeared in Newsweek, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, and Macworld...since at one point or another they have all printed letters from me! (Hey, I wrote the letters and they published them--how much clearer could I be?)

The I got to thinking about the likes of, an expression I found odious during my magazine-editing days: By the likes of do you mean these? Then why not say so? Well, here's why: you can fudge like made with the likes of...and with just a little ingenuity I can pad the old vitae even more by pointing out that I have written for the likes of Esquire--since there was certainly an interval back in the 1980s when the editor and art director of the magazine on which I worked seemed intent on making it look and read an awful lot like Esquire, Jr. ("No I never said I wrote for Esquire; I said I wrote for the likes of Esquire!"

It also occurs to me that I can claim to have "contributed" to several sources, including the Associated Press--sources that did not use my releases verbatim but which adapted them or otherwise built on them for their own reports. It's a shame I didn't think to send releases to Reuters. Oh, well, there's always next year. As it is, it's going to take me several days just to update my CV.

He said jokingly!!

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