(Photo: Find my words in the pages of the Midwest’s top nonprofit media guide! Credit: Community Media Workshop.)
An unexpected summer phone call from my fellow “I’ll never go back to New York” ex-New yorker, Gordon Mayer, of Chicago’s nationally noted Community Media Workshop, comes to fruition this month. Last fall, I had the great fortune of doing Internet media work for 7 Days @ Minimum Wage, a national video blog sponsored by the AFL-CIO and ACORN that helped win minimum-wage raises in six states during Election 2006. I spent the lead-up to the election reaching out to a slew of progressive bloggers across the country. When it was all over, I wrote a summary of the things I learned that worked–and didn’t–when doing media work with my fellow Internet scribes.
I showed my summary, Seven Success Strategies for Pitching to Bloggers, to Community Media Workshop (where I had spent most of spring 2006 pretty successfully attempting never to leave their workshop classroom), and to my surprise, they asked me if they could include it in their library of online media best practices. When one of the country’s top grassroots media training shops–not to mention the one that publishes the annual bible of Chicagoland newsmedia contacts for nonprofits, Getting on the Air, Online & Into Print–makes a request like that, your choices are either deep gratitude or deeper gratitude. I believe my answer went something like, “No, how dare you even ask such a thing…um, YES!!!”
This summer, I learned from Gordon that my blogger outreach tips were going to be included in the 2008 media guide, itself! In addition to contact information for every reporter and media outlet in the Second City, every year the guide also includes a few dozen opening pages of current media best practices drawn from lessons learned by workshop leaders and participants. So with renewed gratitude, I’m proud to shout that you can find my Seven Success Strategies for Pitching to Bloggers proudly re-printed in the 2008 media guide (beginning on page xvi).
Last year, I noted that, although I wasn’t sure just where my writing and media work would take me, I was grateful for the ride. Today, I’m equally grateful for two of the destinations I’ve been led to. One, of course, is the pages of CMW’s estimable media guide. (Click the photo above to order your very own!)
And the other is–and happily remains–Chicago. I look forward to growing ever-deeper personal and professional roots in the town I ponder fondly every morning from the Wabash Avenue bridge and every night from my balcony. Especially, I ponder the food. God knows, deep-dish pizzas and Chicago dogs are enough to sway any ex-New Yorker.