Let me start by profusely thanking everyone who bravely participated in Pitch Your Shorts and everyone who helped spread the word about the pitch session. I was out of town all last week for my grandmother’s funeral, and yet the pitch session was a great success because of all of you. Thank you!
(I’ll share the news about the editors’ requests once I hear from them. They’re probably still fighting over who gets dibs. I’m tempted to install hidden cameras and send them Nerf guns. *snicker*)
Even before I became a writer and had to worry about this publicity thing, funerals always made me think of networking. When someone dies, everyone who knew the person has to be notified and often the immediate family isn’t up to the task. As if that isn’t a big enough job, the timing of the funeral and visitation hours at the funeral home imposes deadlines. So the way news travels in such instances has always fascinated me. (Yes, I’m weird.)
Take my grandmother’s funeral. She lived to 100 years old, so she had a long list of family, friends, and acquaintances. A steady stream of people attended her visitation hours and her funeral procession was the longest I’ve ever seen.
Despite the large turnout, I could think of several friends who’d attended her 100th birthday party and who weren’t at the funeral. Did they not get the news? Were they out of town? Do they avoid funerals? I don’t know.
Yet for every person who didn’t show, there were the surprises who did. One of my dad’s high school girlfriends. (That was…er, interesting. *snicker*) A cousin none of us knew we had (not nearly as scandalous as it sounds). How had those people gotten the news? Not a clue.
This unpredictable nature of networking was echoed by the spread of the news about the pitch session with Entangled Publishing. I saw several trackbacks from people linking to my blog with something along the lines of “I can’t remember how I came across this post, but here’s a great pitching opportunity.” Countless people I’ve never talked to tweeted about the pitch session.
The pitch session received the most hits for a post that wasn’t listed on StumbleUpon or other big traffic-generating site. Every visitor came to my blog the “old-fashioned way,” hearing about the post through my network and my network’s network and so on, one person at a time.
It’s easy to see why that post was so popular. I was offering something of real value to my readers—an opportunity to pitch to six editors hungry for stories. I try to provide something of value in every post, but some things are valued more than others. *smile*
My point is that our network, real life and online, spreads messages when people think the information is wanted by the receivers. It’s up to us to strive for that level with all our writing. If we write things others want to read, our network will be there to share the news. And that’s the not-so-secret secret to harnessing the power of our network.
Has the reach of your network, real-life or online, ever surprised you? What type of message spread the furthest or the fastest? What’s the oddest path someone else’s news has ever reached you?Pin It