Journalists by nature belong to a skeptical lot. But the wisest ones know that fine distinctions exist. They must exist. Otherwise, the skeptical becomes the cynical and even the best-intentioned reporters get jagged cuts from the feet they put in their mouths, jagged toenails and all.
I think back several years ago to when Qwoted first approached me. They asked whether I would consider becoming an early adopter of their business sourcing platform. As I am fond of numbered lists and not fond of wasting time, here’s how it played out in ten steps.
1) I was plenty skeptical. Platforms pop up like mushrooms, and many taste like mush when you try them.
2) Qwoted kept on me. More skepticism. But the value proposition was at least interesting: Try it and like it or don’t buy it.
3) Lou thinks to himself, “Gee, I’m a loudmouth. If they screw this up, they certainly wouldn’t be doing themselves any favors, would they?”
4) Lou tries it, floating a balloon with a source request for a U.S. News & World Report deadline.
5) I was plenty skeptical, part deux. “Are these sources any good? Are these media relations people opportunist?” It occurs to me they are not asking in turn, “Can Lou actually write?”
6) The inbox floods with replies—but not to my email box, which meant Qwoted did the organizing for me, without email spam or my phone going “ping” every few minutes. Neat.
7) Editor kudos for the deep sourcing of the first story. Lather, rinse, repeat.
8) In the weeks, months and years to follow nearly every single business story I write—for U.S. News, Forbes, and a slew of other outlets—comes with a Qwoted query. As a managing editor for a banking publication, I include Qwoted in my “survival guide” for my freelancers. (Note: No bribe sweatshirts from Qwoted or Cancun timeshare vacations were harmed in the making of this track record.)
9) I was plenty skeptical, part trois: I get why my colleagues may not be hip to this. “What’s in it for Qwoted?” I can hear them ask, just like I did. What they don’t ask is: “What’s in it for me?” Qwoted is trying to grow a strong business and offer a service to the profession that hooks up PR and media. If they don’t give back, or get it right, it’s all for naught.
10) Journalists love free “food”! The one gruff journalist I ever heard deny this was the fattest guy at the lunch table. No croissant gift boxes here (sorry) but Qwoted offered me the best of buffets imaginable: new sources, new relationships, new friends, new horizons as a better prepared reporter.
Final step: Qwoted asks me to become its first editor in chief.
Questions? Comments? Croissants? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lou Carlozo is Qwoted’s Editor In Chief.
Check out Lou’s finance podcast “Bankadelic“! This week: BANKING 2020: THE NEW NORMAL? OR THE NEW ABNORMAL?