So here it is: How my 15 minutes of fame came and went without me knowing.
I sent an email in December (prior to the official acceptance) and then again in April asking if there was anything I could do to activate my participation in the program. I didn't hear anything back.
Life picked up full speed for me, and while I remembered the program, it fell to the background when I quit my job and moved to Colorado.
Then a two weeks ago a friend sent me this picture.
The purpose of the program was to involve the Moosejaw community and build brand advocates. Instead of making me more loyal, it made me feel left out and confused. I was really looking forward to this opportunity, and I found out from someone else that it happened without me, and that my name and endorsement were on a product I'd never even seen before.
I sent another email which bounced back to me, got new contact info from Twitter (@moosejawmadness), and finally got in touch with their Creative Director.
He called me, which was awesome, and explained that there had been a change in staff and that my email had been left off the list when the program went into full swing this past spring. I had simply been forgotten. The fact that he called, explained, and apologized made me feel understood and valued. We talked about removing my name since I wasn't actually involved in developing it, and he said he'd send me one for my troubles if I gave him my mailing address.
I sent him just that, along with an idea that would save him the trouble of removing my name and give me the opportunity to check out the jacket and still be part of the program.
No reply, that was 10 days ago.
I've been through my share of staff changeovers and I understand managing huge lists of people and the stress of starting new programs, so I'm not without compassion for their situation. But on the consumer end, I feel pretty small at the moment. They tried to do the right thing, but in the end I was just forgotten about.
I did a search today and found the jacket had been renamed (see my name is still in the web address). Makes me wonder if Chelsea Robbins knows she has a jacket named after her now, or not.
So the lesson learned is this: Follow through. Double check. Listen, and then keep following through. In an industry where the term "influencer" is becoming more and more important, it's essential to take care of your advocates and not leave anyone behind.