Could We Please Move on From Everyone Saying, “Reach Out”?!

By: Bruce Wawrzyniak

Writing on notepadSome things in a notebook that just had to be said…

In the case of my first entry, something literally did get said.  Last month when I was in Nashville there was someone who got off stage from a writer’s round and – at a venue that is a listening room environment – proceeded to sit in the back and talk … and talk … and talk throughout the next round.  Yes, upon their exit, I did nicely say something to this individual about not showing the same respect for the writers on-stage that was expected and received during this person’s round.  (Not to mention that no one else in the place was talking – except this person!)  Not that I’m anybody, but, once again, you never know who might be in the audience that witnesses that (and speaks up to you) – especially in Nashville!

Moving on, someone in the entertainment business posted on LinkedIn about something that I happen to know first-hand was a courtesy being extended to different agencies but with an implied Non-Disclosure Agreement.  I have a lot of problems with this.  First is, it comes off as braggadocio.  Secondly, it’s about integrity.  Thirdly, if the party that had extended the courtesy either sees that or is tipped off to it do you think you’ll ever hear from them again?  Heck no.  Resist the temptation to spill the beans.  Enough good will come from it without publicizing it.

Next, where is the individuality anymore?  Why is everyone conforming to the same buzzwords?  If I hear one more person say, “reach out” my eyes are going to roll so far back in my head I will actually have eyes in the back of my head.  Refer to a call or an email or a text as exactly that.  (I won’t even get into written correspondence that says, “I wanted to reach out…” – I know you wanted to, that’s why you did!)  Another overused term is “disruption.”  The first people to use this were unique – and that was largely their intent (to not conform) – but now it has just become another bandwagon term that everyone is using and thus has made that pool watered down.

Another topic stuck in my craw these days is job hoppers.  There is someone who comes to one of the weekly meetings that I attend who has had four jobs now in probably the last three years?  Who knows, maybe I’m missing one – it’s tough to keep track!  How am I supposed to embrace a product or service that you’re trying to tell me is important and you’re passionate about when (a) you haven’t been doing it very long and moreover (b) your track record tells me that you probably won’t be doing it for much longer?  Enough said.

As a result of a popular blog I wrote last month, you all know where I stand already on the hot button issue of performers getting asked to donate their time in exchange for the exposure.  I won’t back down from carrying the torch for that cause, so much so that last week I started off a presentation to a business group by explaining that to them using the “you wouldn’t ask a plumber, roofer, or painter to work at your house in exchange for the exposure they’d get when you posted about them on your personal Facebook page, would you?  So then why is it different when it comes to a musician?”

There’s also something I’m starting to see a little too much email-wise that has to do with mechanics.  If you start a clean, brand new email to someone, yet you start your subject line with “RE:” so as to give the appearance that it’s the continuation of a conversation that you and the recipient have been having, that’s just plain dishonest.  It’s not only frowned upon but will get you blacklisted, reported as spam, and probably even put on a blocked senders list.  Yes, we all want our cold call emails to be seen, but that’s not the way in.

Lastly, the latest trend I see is digital marketing companies.  Back in the day, everyone was a realtor.  Then it became that everybody and their brother was a life coach.  Now, you can’t go to a networking event without bumping into someone who has a digital marketing company.  Is there a need for them?  Yes.  Do they do good and important work?  Absolutely.  Am I going to know, like, and trust each one who waves a business card at me and tells me about the great Wordpress sites that they do?  Nope.  (Especially since Wordpress has a reputation for getting hacked.)  The challenge for these folks is to market themselves uniquely first, so that you know that they will market you digitally in a manner that brings results.

Now I will exhale and look for your feedback in our Facebook group.