This is dedicated to all the people over the age of 50. Just recently, I presented a concept for a series of columns to an assistant editor of a publication which is based in Florida. The editor was a young woman, whom I would say could not possibly be over the age of 25. Also, and it may be just a coincidence, she had the same last name as one of the owners of this publication. I’m guessing that she is the publication owner’s daughter or niece.
My basic concept for my proposed column series was to take a nostalgic look at what it was like to grow up in the era of the 1950’s and 1960’s. My presentation notebook was complete with an outline, sample columns, prospective photographs for the column, and even some sketch drawings I had drawn to possibly be included in the column. Also, I included stats on the prospective target reading audience. Also, to touch upon bread and butter for this publication, I included stats on what advertisers would coincide with the column. For example, in one of my columns I was writing about the memories of old gas stations, hence any auto related advertisements would surely fit “hand in glove” on the same page as that particular column.
I wish I had a tape recording of my interview with this editor. No, wait, I wish I had a video tape of my interview with this editor. The whole bottom line is that she saw NO worth or value to the concept of my prospective column series. Despite, my hard work in researching data that showed a LARGE percentage of her reading audience are baby boomers. She had the attitude of “don’t confuse me with the facts.”
Her voice tone and her body language assured me that she thought that she was wasting her time in just talking to me. In fact, she concluded our interview by informing that she wanted to take the publication into a dimension that would appeal more to young people. Guess what? Baby boomers in Central Florida have a greater population than the 18 to 25 age group. My stats of illustrating this point, in my report, did not seem to appeal to her.
Basically, I got the old, “we’ll call you if we find any interest in your idea for a column” routine. In other words, “goodbye, don’t call us.”
I’m all for publications that appeal to young people. But somehow, publications that are appealing to the main stream of a regional area, should consider the specific age demographics of that region. Central Florida is loaded with baby boomers. But, alas, articles and columns which would appeal specifically to them get lost in the shuffle. They become secondary to the philosophy of creating a publication with “youth appeal.”
I know that I have not written my blog in a while. I’ve been working so hard on my presentation for this particular publication, that I just haven’t had the time. It’s now time to pull up the boot straps, dig my heels into the sand, hold my head up high and begin once again to knock on doors to find an editor interested in publishing my series of columns that appeal to baby boomers.
Life is tough. But age prejudice is a bummer. For that matter, any type of prejudice is a bummer!
Peace and harmony, Richard