Monday, February 24, 2020

I Could Do It Better Myself - The Volunteer Media

Despite what some folks think, the majority of the press covering the watch business these days is of a voluntary nature.  This is largely the result of brands cutting advertising budgets, and people going back to former occupations, getting married, or finding better ways to spend their free (and not so free) time.

So gentle reader, an inside look at a day in the life of Henki -

5:30 - Whether I like it or not, Tallulah (the older cat and Executive Publisher) is awake and waiting to be fed.  Sabrina (the younger cat and Editor in Chief) is waiting as well.  I head downstairs, turn up the heat in the house, and feed the cats.  I gulp down my morning tablets with a glass of water, have the first of several espressos and head back upstairs to the office.

5:45 - emails reviewed, and...
Not a sausage.  
Not only has watch advertising money dried up, watch brands are producing fewer and fewer models, and some have made their PR functions redundant.  News is scant, and unlike some of my colleagues in the Fourth and Fifth Estate, I prefer not to manufacture it.

6:15 - Go down and make a coffee for Wendy who is up and getting ready for work.

6:25 - I receive a follow-up email from the PR manager at Brand Y.  Y for "why won't you write about us?", which I have explained a few times - I don't write advertorials.  I realize my unwillingness to do so is probably holding me back financially, but a man must have a code ; )

6:45 - Email in-box pings, and... 

Good news! I am the winner of the Nigerian National Lottery! Maybe I'll buy Watch Time from Ebner so I can finally have my own magazine!
7:15 - Finally I decide that as no news is forthcoming, I will write an editorial type piece. The Grey Market is always good for a few hundred words, and is showing no sign of slowing down.  

8:00 - Kiss Wendy and wish her a good day as she heads out the door.

8:35 - Hastily showered and dressed, lunch made, it's off to work.

8:55 - Parking lot duty.  Where I work we have very limited parking, and as such the students have been informed that they cannot park in the back lot.  Needless to say, it is a game of cat and mouse as several try to slip in anyway to avoid parking on the street.  This, in turn, prevents other staff members and board members (who have a meeting today) from parking.  While being the Director of Adult Education and Workforce Development has its perks, playing parking lot "sizzler" is not one of them ; )

9:05 - Call with my contact at the Dept. of Education office.  Nothing major, clarifications regarding programming made, and all seems under control.

9:35 - Call from reception, someone is interested in learning English, could I come down and speak with them?

10:30 - Class break time.  I try to speak with each of the four teachers, make sure everything is under control.

10:45 - Back to work on the grant application.  It is due on Friday, signatures are needed from the boss, and I still need to nail down the budget.

12:15 - Text message from brand manager in Switzerland.  Could I recommend a sales manager in Florida.  I file that under "not pressing" and dive back into "grant writing land".

12:30 - Lunch with the teaching team.  Brief ad hoc meeting to review a few items coming up.

13:45 - Call from former student of mine who is interviewing for a job.

2:30 - 30 minute walk around the surrounding area to clear the head.

3:25 - Personal email pops on my iPhone, and I see that the watch from Brand X that three of the big outlets already wrote about 2 days ago is suddenly now a press release for "the rest of us".  I delete the message.

4:15 - draft of the grant application is finally ready to be reviewed by the boss.

4:45 - The phone rings just as I am leaving the office.  Meeting arranged for Wednesday morning to review our proposed adult education program with a new partner one town over.

5:15 - Stop at Trader Joe's for dinner items.

5:35 - Feed the cats dinner, scoop out the litter box, make a coffee and fire-up the laptop.

5:55 - Complete text edit for one of my brands, and respond to a customer query for another.  Yes, the watch in question is available, yes, it does cost that much, no there will be no discount!

6:17 - Phone rings, it's Japan with an urgent request for a special event, could I help organize it?

7:25 - Dinner is nearly ready, and Wendy arrives home after a long day.

9:26  - Story lined up for tomorrow involving a review of a new brand's watch.

10:25 - After 15 minutes of futility, I give up trying to read any more of the book I've been working on since Christmas.  Turn out the lights and off to sleep.  Tomorrow is another exciting day in watch media!

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