The other day I was having a conversation with a friend who is soon to be honored by a well-known industry group, it’s a black organization. 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 or maybe they will but why wouldn’t they try to get sponsorship? I also could not help but wonder if he would feel the same way if it was an organization that ignores people of color all year and he was the only black person because he was picked to fill a quota.
Organizations don’t make money off of everybody they honor and I actually get both sides of this coin but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
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 or they are having a bad day who knows and others who … well, you don’t need to know much more. It’s interesting to note that some people are being held back to greater success by the teams that represent them and they don’t even know it.
We Don’t Get a Lot of Pats on the Back in Black Entertainment
From this end of the spectrum doing this trade, I can honestly tell you a MAJORITY of the corporate promotions and announcements that we get are not of black people so while I understand people being cautious about honors we have to be cognizant of the lack of acknowledgments, honors and awards too in an industry where people of color contribute so much.
Walking a Purse with a Leash
How would I feel if an organization wanted to honor me? Of course, it depends on who, how old and established the organization is and why they are so desperate … (lol) 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, to say the least … 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 just to get a PHONE CALL from someone today saying how much they meant to the industry. If someone offers you flowers while you are young(er) and living, know that SOMEONE had to pick and 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 greater recognition.