Last week, Ragan.com re-ran an old article of mine on how to write good captions. A commenter wrote:
Thank you for the much appreciated pointers. What about editors who do not print the provided and often pithy photo captions? As someone who not only includes a complete caption sheet but is called out every time a photo is run without the required credit, I want to know how to persuade editors to print the formal caption.
How should I know?
The request filled me with dread, because I am speaking at two conferences in Canada next week, and these are just the sorts of questions conference attendees ask.
Here's how it goes:
You have just poured your heart's blood into a presentation on executive communication, say, and someone will start the Q&A this way:
Well, my CEO has no legs and no arms, so he doesn't do well with a lectern. But yet he doesn't like to use a lavaliere mic. What would you recommend?
And then they look at you with this posture that says, We flew you all the way in from Chicago to for some answers, Mr. Smartie.
And then you look at them and, even as you bullshit your way through an unlikely answer, you realize that, indeed, they flew me all the way from Chicago to tell them what they already know: Yes, their problems are fucking impossible.
(Just like mine!)
Once Scout asked me who was the first person on earth.
I said no one knows.
"Not even the experts?" she asked.
No, darling. Not even the experts.