The End Of A Normal Week

Ed Zitron 3 min read

Today’s the first day in a while I’ve had trouble thinking of a specific subject to write, as the week’s events have chewed up and spat out my brain well enough that I’m just trying to get from 7AM to 10PM and go back to sleep, which sounds as functional and healthy as it is. Pitching the media in the last few days has been an exercise in futility - “who fucking cares?” being the universal feeling from, well, everyone at the moment.

I think this week would have felt weird even if we weren’t seeing active sedition in the capital. You see, every year since 2015 I have spent this week in some sort of speed-networking mode, with a suite in Las Vegas where we have a full bar with comfy chairs, WiFi and strict no-pitching-the-reporters rules that allow journalists to come and relax, eat tacos and get to know us without the actual ‘work’ part necessarily. The whole point of it is the ultimate goal of all media relations - that they will open our emails and hopefully like what’s inside, versus ignoring them in the 300-3000 emails they get a day.

Last year’s CES was bad - a kind of worrying kickoff fo the year - a combination of disorganization, a personnel issue and weird scheduling meant that the gaggle of reporters that usually stick around until Thursday or Friday were out the door. Everyone felt disconnected and off, somehow - I don’t know what it is, as the previous years (even a year when we went to Harrah’s instead, a horrible idea) had an incredible flow of reporters. CES is usually the jumping-off point for the year - a shot in the arm for the team, a chance to, at the very least, see everyone in our remote team and get some food and drink in us. I admit it hurts not having it this year, but it hurt even more last year having a bad one - and I even felt sick most of the week (nauseous, not sure if it was COVID or just general purpose “ugh”), which meant I couldn’t even drink to feel better about how bad I felt, which now that I type it out is not the best thing in the world.

There is the upside of not being at CES in 2021, in the sense that the first working week of the year usually annihilates me from walking a few miles a day and having to be “on” 90% of the day. I do wonder, though, when I’m going to be able to do my usual rounds of meeting reporters and reminding them that I’m not horrible, that I will not email them stuff I don’t think they’d be interesting, and so on. My entire business is one that runs on latent anxiety, with each day not so much being a set of tasks as it is a vague sense of “I got to get coverage for these clients.” This generally works because I’m smart enough to bring in clients that I have connections that will find them interesting, but it also is anxiety-inducing because, frankly, some days (like today) you just get to your computer and say “what now?” And sometimes that answer is “this isn’t a great day to pitch people,” or you set up emails to send out Monday or Tuesday, or you just accept that you’re gonna have to come back to it next week.

So, yeah, no shot in the arm this year. And no clear time when I can do my other thing I do - a trip to New York to reconnect with the reporters I know there - and yeah, I know it’s stupid to complain when I have it extremely good and I’m not dead from COVID-19, I know, I know. I just miss it, and I didn’t realize until this week how reliant I am on certain constants to re-energize me. It could be so, so much worse for me, and I am grateful that my business is still here and I’m still rocking along despite everything. I’ve got used to running this company without any social interaction, and finally realized a few years ago what interaction actually helped, and now it’s gone, and I’m upset, which is childish.

Anyway, I’m gonna see what I can do about whatever it is I’m meant to do. Have a great week everyone.

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