I’ve been a newsaper columnist for over a year. Can you please spring for some business cards?
Some exciting news in my tiny little newspaper career. I have new towns to cover! One of them is Webster, NY. Their town motto: “Webster, where life is worth living.” Webster is 20 minutes from my house. And in the Rochester area, that may as well be another planet. So off I went last night to explore my new town, which rests on the shores of Lake Ontario.
I was invited to a mixer held by the Webster Chamber of Commerce. It was held at the town’s local branch of HSBC Bank It was hopping! Only 20 people registered in advance, but the headcount was over 60, according to the event organizer.
So many great people in one room to meet, introduce myself to and dig up new story ideas.
Until one embarrassing question came up. And it came up time and time again each time I circulated the room.
“Can I have your business card?”
“Errr, well, to tell you the truth, I don’t have a business card, but the paper is working on it!”
So, instead I came home with a stack of business cards which I will now send out my contact information, with a link to my column.
Yes, it was embarrassing, and perhaps a bit penny wise and pound foolish of the newspaper for not providing me with a business card after doing this column for over a year now. When I meet new people, unless I carry around a copy of my latest column with my mugshot on it, where is the proof that I really am who I say I am?
My editors should know how I delight in writing each column, and they know I do it for a paltry sum of money. They should know how my spine tingled just walking into a real, live newsroom when I met with my editors this week. They should know that someone from the Webster chamber said to me “heck, send me your information and I’ll cough up the $20 to make you a set of business cards.”
Even in this age of Blackberries and social networking, there is still a viable reason for carrying a business card when one is doing real networking.
So, kind businesspeople of Webster, thank you for trusting me when I said who I said I was. And I will be getting my box of those old-school business cards any day. I promise.