by Breyanna Knoll
Though youth certainly has its benefits, I learned about one of its uglier pitfalls this week.
I worked on a section where several sources came from one entity. Thus, the entity connected me with a public relations representative to provide me with sources. This was obviously not a problem. I have worked with public relations people before for sources at St. Louis Woman Magazine, and part of my job at the environmental magazine was contacting media outlets for approval to use their art materials. Public relations people never challenged me before.
Notice that I said “before” because this time was totally different.
From the outset, the woman with whom I worked was very difficult. She had very little regard for my deadline and cared little that things needed to be balanced from an editorial standpoint. I know, as P.R. person, balanced may seem the opposite of her job.
The whole process became slightly frustrating, and I felt as if she was writing me off. I did everything she asked in a timely manner, and I provided all of the information she requested. Still, she never returned my calls and always emailed back with more questions.
The day of my deadline, I still had no sources or scheduled interviews. Apparently things were souring for reasons beyond my control, and the principals contacted my editor with additional concerns about my integrity. They disliked my intern status. They felt it showed a lack of regard for their section. It did not matter to them I had editorial experience at an award-winning newspaper, that I completed a prior internship or I graduated early. They wanted me off the project.
In youth, you have the benefit of your entire future ahead of you. Your life is an adventure waiting to happen, but some people refuse to take you seriously.
This whole episode hurt my feelings immensely, and I am not sure if I have a thick enough skin to work in the magazine world. I wonder whether age, experience and a little bit of wisdom will thicken that skin. I wonder if that’s something I even want. To feel less would certainly mean less pain, but it also might mean less recognition of injustices. I hope I always remember what it is like to be young, and I never write some one off because of it.
- ▼ March (4)