The frustrations of publicity

By Carmen Comment

Independent publicist Susan Schwartzman has started bloggingprobably the first in her profession book publicist to do so, to the best of my knowledge — and describes some of the pitfalls that can flummox even the best of publicists:

Dealing with the media can be very frustrating at times. Take [yesterday], for example, when I called various NPR producers of very high-brow, intellectual shows. “If you don’t have anyone from New Orleans, I can’t talk to you.” Click.

The hurricane preempted all the news media today, and monopolized producers’ time all over the country, but fortunately, I did get responses to my pitches from some producers, so the day wasn’t a complete exercise in futility. I was grateful I didn’t have any authors scheduled for a morning show today who would end up sitting in the green room as the hurricane coverage preempted their interviews. That happened to an author of mine many years ago when a blizzard was deemed more important than his book, and the morning show never did reschedule his interview.

No doubt that very question is on the minds of the publicity department of Bantam Dell right this moment, after Karin Slaughter’s scheduled interview on the CBS Early Show got bumped for Hurricane Katrina coverage.