The other day I was having a conversation with a friend who is about to be honored by a well-known industry group. After I congratulated him, he told me, “I really don't want to do it because I don't feel it's genuine, I don't mind being honored but don't make any money off my name.” Then, I thought to myself, they probably won't honor you.
At that moment, I could not help but wonder what if the major industry corporation that he works for told him ‘So yeah, um, we don't mind you representing us but we won't be paying you anymore cause you can't make money off of OUR name!' Or if they told him “You're only being honored because you work for us … you know they could have picked several other people that work here too!”
And You Areeeeeeeee …?
When you get into the honoring business you come across some very interesting people. Most are very kind and very few are rude but it's not them it's often the people who represent them. You come across some people who are pissed because they are not being honored and others who … well you don't need to know much more. It's interesting to note that some people are being held back by their teams and they don't even know it.
I won't say which one but in one of the last six magazines that I did a woman told her reps not to buy ads if I called them and to stall me (how about just saying ‘no'). She doesn't know that I know but one of the people that she told, told me because they thought it was arrogant and f'd up. I still ran her story but I thought that was interesting. She saw the benefit of the story running afterward and called me to thank me and asked for extra copies to give to her family and to have the pages framed for her office. I did it and I had to laugh to myself.
Don't Put a Leash on a Purse
How would I feel if an organization wanted to honor me? Of course, it depends on who, how old and established the organization is but at the end of the day I would be pissed if my reps didn't support the venture after I accepted. It would be like having a party and nobody comes. I personally would not accept the honor if I felt the need to put a leash on the organization's purse in the process. To accept an honor than to put conditions on it is tacky.
Every organization from the Emmy's to The Best Diabetic Peach Cobbler Assisted Living Awards has two options to pay for the vehicle they are using to honor you and others. They can reach out to the people who rep you or go and pick money off of the huge money tree in their backyard.
Any company honoring ANYBODY would be a damn FOOL not to make money off the event. Who is going to pay for all the expenses that come along with honoring someone?
PICK AND CHOOSE BUT DON'T CHOOSE AND PICK
Truth be told. Working from this end of doing a national trade magazine for 23 years, I can tell you, there have been MANY people who were on top of the game at one time who would be THRILLED to get a damn PHONE CALL from someone today saying how much they meant to the industry. If someone offers you flowers while you are living, know that SOMEONE had to pay for those flowers. Pick and choose but don't choose and pick. The first few doors open up to greater opportunities not only to be honored but for recognition.