I’ve had a nice resolution after reaching out to FashioNZ over their Instagram tagline and a claim made on their website. There was a delay in their response due to the site being sold to its fifth owners (I must be out of touch, as I never knew who the second and third were!), but they addressed all my points, saying that they cared about journalistic integrity, and wrote to me in as friendly a way as I did to them. The tagline has already been changed, and I understand that they’ll get on to the rest.
To be extra-careful, I had two colleagues in Auckland who knew the (outgoing) publisher read through my email to make sure I was being as collegial as possible, and they gave me the all-clear.
I contrast this to an email I received last year, from a US designer who shall remain nameless.
They had asked for an article to be removed from Lucire but did not explain why. I said I would if we had written something factually wrong, or misrepresented them.
No, it wasn’t that: after some probing, they revealed that they just didn’t like our photo of the designer’s work appearing so high up in Google Images. Reading between the lines, they wanted to dominate the search results and were irritated that we were messing it up.
I noted that we were contacted by their firm’s PR people (and before I made that claim, I looked back through my email archives from the 2000s to confirm this—it was a PR firm in their own state, and yes, it was an item published that long ago), to which they countered that they had never heard of us prior to this and would not have issued us the press release. Folks, I have the email.
The whole thing was combative from the get-go, and after they suggested I was a liar, they earned their whole company a block on our email system.
What a strange way for their marketing person to try to get something they wanted, to call the person you’re asking a favour of a liar. I submit that they don’t know much about marketing. And in this country, we have such a thing as freedom of the press.
They have one of our editors’ phone numbers so they can talk to her if they wish—though I had suggested their boss talk directly to me since I wasn’t going to deal with rude underlings. The boss never called.
I won’t name these folks since I consider the dialogue confidential, but sometimes it’s tempting to say, ‘**** may be a famous designer, but they have really shit people working for them.’
There’s a right way and a wrong way to correspond, and I’m glad that a misspent youth, reading some of my father’s Pitman guides, put me on a better track.