Hey everyone! The internship was considerably more interesting this week. Highlights include a new blogging task, further social media interaction, and attending a book launch!
I went into the internship on Monday secretly praying I wouldn’t be assigned more of the same basic PR tasks I’d undertaken the week before (not that I mind, but I want as diverse an experience as I can get!). Thankfully, my prayers were answered. Instead, my boss informed me that I would be helping him set up the company’s first “blog tour” for our latest book. Apparently, other publishing companies often do these with trusted reviewers for PR purposes.
Basically, a “blog tour” is when bloggers feature the same book throughout their blogs in succession. After the first blog is posted, the blogger “tags” the second blogger through some public social media display (i.e.–“hey @Blogger2, anxiously waiting for your review of Author’s #TheBook”) and so on–kind of like passing on the baton in running. The result is a great amount of coverage for the books and the bloggers. A win-win.
So my boss asked me to email these trusted bloggers about joining the blog tour for our latest book release. He had many specifications about how the email should be. “Make sure you let them know we haven’t done this before, but not that we don’t know what we’re doing.” “This blogger will do it, so don’t give her too much information she doesn’t need.” “Sound needy, but don’t beg.”
In the end, I crafted an email I thought was pretty darn perfect. “It’ll do,” he tells me. Well, you can’t win them all. When I asked him what I could do to make the email better, he responded, “It’s just not what I would’ve written. I would’ve been more conversational, but it does the job fine.” For someone who has learned that in order to be professional , you must be “polite and CONCISE”, this was a very different answer than what I was expecting. Later, I would learn that British business is far more conversational in tone than American business. In fact, a fellow study abroad classmate described British business deals in which two parties would talk about their families for the first 20 minutes before delving into anything professional. I wonder if this email was along the same line. However, I am not overly familiar with business settings, so I could be overlooking something.
On Wednesday, much of the same thing happened with the added addition of creating a new kind of PR document also intended to be distributed to booksellers. However, this document had eight of our books listed, meaning the descriptions were shorter (or basically 5-word sentences).
On Thursday, I went to my first book launch in celebration of the company’s newest published book. It was in a small, occultish little shop near London University, and the place was PACKED. I brought along my friend Alyssa for company, a fellow publishing intern working at another business. We stood around drinking wine and generally keeping to ourselves, occasionally talking to another guest or petting the shop dog.
Eventually my boss spoke on the author’s behalf using his trademark dry humor, and then the author spoke on behalf of all present. Her speech was very moving. One line I remember in particular (and I’m probably butchering it here):”Without hope, there is no change.”–a theme that resonated throughout the novel we had all gathered there in support of.
I left the shop with Alyssa with my own book copy signed and a greater appreciation for the great amount of work it takes to publish a single manuscript. I truly hope I have the opportunity to attend another launch before I leave the country!