) Well, it turned out that she did indeed have a blog under a name different than what she shared with us.
She was traveling under an alias so the New York Times wouldn’t know.
This is where I discover the nuances, the hidden charms, and the off-the-beaten path stories. Many Convention & Visitors Bureaus (CVB’s), Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO’s), and public relations (PR) firms assume that an assignment letter from an editor can help them winnow serious journalists from pseudo writers. Over the years, I have seen writers produce LOA’s so that they can snag a space on lucrative press trips that are from obscure publications ranging from their Home Owner Association and church newsletters to their own personal blogs.
That way their press trip ends up with only qualified journalists who can guarantee published articles. It’s common to ask that the assignment letter specify contact information for the assigning editor so the CVB/PR agency can follow up and verify that both the publication and the assignment are real.
I’ve seen cases where the editor is a friend of the writer and they are merely helping the writer get a free press trip, but don’t plan to publish the piece.
I have also seen times when the writer generates the LOA, identifies a friend as an editor, and there is no real publication as it exists only in the minds of the writer and the friend.(Roy’s Comment: Dishonest “writers” are out there, and they give the rest of us a bad name.I once had an assignment letter from a bridal publication for an article on a luxury yacht cruise in wine country.When I came back and wrote up the story, I unexpectedly found out there was a new editor. What shouldn’t have happened is that she wanted nothing to do with her predecessor’s commitments.Just make sure you deliver for them on future press trips.) The dreaded words that writers never want to read are that the magazine or newspaper will cease operations.Unfortunately, you have already taken a press trip based on an assignment.I work for several prestigious magazines that have an unwritten policy basically saying they will not issue assignment letters.Instead it is up to the writer to make his or her own arrangements and whatever is necessary to write the article. This is exactly why you need to build up your list of outlets to the max, so that one or two of them will assist you by providing authentic LOA’s.I have 190 potential outlets and can generally find an editor or two that are happy to provide me with LOA's and assignments.If they don‘t pay well, I still may make the business decision not to take the trip. I’ve also found that some editors will not write assignment letters.Though we are both professional writers with published bylines in numerous outlets, there are many ways to take that journey toward seeing your name and your article in the spotlight.I understand the need by media hosts to weed out legitimate writers and an assignment letter helps them do this.