Ken’s top 10 ways to irritate an outdoor writer
1. Do not answer or return his calls quickly. After all, that deadline isn’t your deadline — it’s his! It’s a simple case of problem ownership. Sure, he’s trying to help you and make you famous, but it needs to happen on your schedule.
2. Complain that the jersey you’re wearing in a photo is from last year and has the “wrong” sponsors on it. Tell him he needs to drop everything and get some new images because you don’t have anything you can send him.
3. Have no idea about the product names or model numbers of the equipment you use. Make the writer look it up and call you back to confirm. You’re a highly skilled angler, not a tackle catalog!
4. Give the same answers as everyone else. When your chance at big-time exposure comes along, make sure you say the same things all the other anglers say. Play it safe. Don’t have a different spin or a better way of doing it. Let them figure it out like you did.
5. Give a little, but expect a lot. When a writer comes out to do a story on you and mention your sponsors, you should expect him to pay you a guide fee, plus cover incidentals like gas, baits, food and drinks. After all, he’s getting rich on that story and you’re just a struggling fisherman.
6. Tell him how to do his job. By all means, give the writer plenty of advice on how he can better do his job. Tell him what magazine would be best for the story and how great you’d look on the cover. Tell him exactly what sponsor logos you want featured in every photo and that you need to change out lures so it looks like you actually caught the fish on a sponsor’s bait.
7. If you get the chance to review the story before the writer sends it to the editor, be sure to suggest lots of changes — everything from your own quotes to the quotes of other experts and even photo selection. That story’s not ready until you say it’s ready!
8. Make sure you complain about the last story you did together and how few people seemed to notice it. And don’t forget to tell him that both your mother and your wife thought your photo was too small and only showed your “bad” side. Writers love rehashing old assignments. How else are you going to teach them?
9. Call the writer really early in the morning, late at night or on weekends. Major holidays are good, too. You’re a pro angler and have unusual hours. He should be prepared to put up with that.
10. When you run into the writer at a tournament or on the lake, make sure you’ve forgotten his name. Call him “Bubba” or “Buddy.” Writers eat that up! Just being able to hang out with guys like you is “living the dream” for an outdoor writer.
Tags: advice, deadline, editor, equipment, guide fee, magazine, magazine cover, media, members, mistakes, model number, outdoor writer, phone call, photos, product name, quotes, schedule, sponsors, tournament jersey