Today's Topics: Scammer-tainment And The Importance Of Not Wasting Each Other's Time
Oh, there's some story leads too.
I have a running group text going on with a few of my close friends, and this past week, Tinder Swindler and Inventing Anna were at the forefront of our conversations.
What is it about us (not my friends and I specifically but the greater us, the royal WE, if you will), that we are so attracted to TV about true crime, scams, and all-out fraudsters?
While I’m personally obsessed with a version of reality where Anna and Simon swipe right on each other and spark the best reality dating program in history, I do think there are some important differences in their stories. While Simon destroyed the lives of women he “dated”, Anna swindled on a much broader (and thus, in a way, less violating on a personal level) scope, by going after the greatest symbols of wealth and privilege.
While neither one of these fraudsters really deserve any of our compassion, somehow Anna came off as much more vulnerable, wounded character while Simon was just, well, evil. Who else would love to have a drink with Anna but would be terrified if they crossed paths with Simon?
Interestingly, they are BOTH finding ways to profit off their new Netflix fame now though. Simon now has a Cameo page and Anna was offering media outlets exclusives (who is Chase based on?! She says she’ll share!) in her her Instagram stories.
While I don’t think people should ever be allowed to profit off their crimes (is there not a law about that?), I’m endlessly fascinated and really can’t wait for the first Zoom event that hires one of them as a guest.
I think though — in answer to my own question — the reason we’re so obsessed with these shows, and these people, is because our biggest fear is being betrayed by those we trust. And that very fear creates a cruel sort of fascination with the concept. (Sort of why we can’t look away from car accidents on the highway or the endless doom-scrolling on social media.)
We tell ourselves we’d never let someone do that to us, and that could never happen to us. But we all secretly fear it will, and that is why we watch these shows so obsessively. It’s so much easier to laugh than to cry! (That said, I can’t wait for whatever the next series is.)
But that’s just my two cents…and I watch soap operas as a form of escapism from real life, so…there’s that.
A bit about virtual cooking events
I wasn’t honestly planning on touching on this topic today. In fact, I already did a deep dive into virtual cooking events in my paid newsletter a few weeks ago, and actually consult on this topic often. But something happened today that had actually never happened before and I realized the topic deserved a bit of a revisit.
A brand had actively been following up with me regarding attending their virtual cooking class. They were really giving this event the hard sell.
I was hesitant to accept initially because I had a pretty packed schedule that day, but ultimately accepted because I legitimately was excited about the product and the recipes we were going to make. We went back and forth in an email chain about the recipe, ingredients, scheduling ingredient delivery, and such. I even went as far as assisting them by recommending a few other food journalists they may want to invite.
Then, days after I had accepted the invite and all this back and forth occurred, they asked if I happened to own a rather large and expensive type of cooking equipment (one that is not related to their client/the product that is the reason for the Zoom), as it would be needed in one of the recipes being made in the class. I said no, I didn't, but that I could creatively work around it, and had before. I was then UNINVITED TO THE EVENT.
A few things here -- if your virtual event will require the use of a specific tool or gadget, you should mention that upfront in the invitation and not waste anyone's time. And if you require said instrument for participants to, well, participate, you should probably be sending it to those you invite.
But above all else, again, don't waste people's time.
Truth be told, this is an item I deliberately do not own because I don't have space for it in my very small kitchen. However, it's also one that is cost prohibitive for many people, making this particular sticking point rather hurtful and offensive to those food writers living in a small space or on a fixed budget. Which is, I'd say, the majority of us.
The last thing they need is to be made to feel like they are "less than' or "lacking" in their level of ability to do their job because of your cooking class. Consider your actions and how they may impact those who you hope to get coverage from.
Here's what I'm working on:
1. For Clean Plates, I have an ongoing need for reliable (as in, responsive and will meet promised deadlines) RDs and nutritionists to comment on pending and upcoming stories.
2 - For Pawp.com, I have an ongoing need for animal behaviorists and veterinarians to comment on pending and upcoming stories. Must be reliable and dependable as far as responsiveness, communication, and adhering to deadlines.
Here's what has been published in the last few days...
If you or your client are featured in any of these stories, please don’t forget to share on social media and tag me and the outlet. Thanks!
I’m trying to be slightly more organized and deliberate in the posting of job leads, so will gather a bunch to post all at once a few times a week versus doing a handful each day.
I feel like that’ll be more helpful to everyone in that they’ll always know where and when to find it. So if you have anything for me to share, send me your job leads today for tomorrow afternoon’s newsletter! Just be sure to include a few sentences about what the job is, what you are looking for, and a way for people to contact you. Even easier if there’s a job description I can link to. I already have a few good ones on tap to include…