Area man

Wednesday 22 January 2003

You ever read one of those lifestyle or technology stories in your local paper, where they find three or four people to quote about some topic like credit card fraud? You ever wonder how the reporter found those people to quote? (This is the sort of thing The Onion would call, “Area Man Has Credit Card Hassles”).

Through the miracle of blogging technology, I am now one of those Area Men. The Poughkeepsie Journal ran the story Personal identity theft on sharp increase, which includes a few quotes from yours truly (even though I live about 150 miles from Poughkeepsie, so I’m not really an Area Man).

So how did it happen? Here’s how:

  1. I wrote a blog entry (Virtual Credit Cards) about my experience with credit card fraud, and a good technological solution to the problem.
  2. The software firm that wrote the virtual credit card software hired a public relations firm, one of whose employees (Kavita) found my blog entry (I guess via Google).
  3. Kavita wrote to me asking if I would like to be a case study for their PR efforts. I said sure, since I liked their product and thought it would be interesting to be an Area Man.
  4. Kavita wrote up my case, and shopped it around to newspapers to see if they would write a story using me and highlighting their product. The Poughkeepsie Journal bit.
  5. Kavita got the reporter (Nik) and me together on the phone for an interview, which wasn’t very deep, and pretty much covered the same ground as the case study.
  6. Nik wrote up the story, and it appeared in the paper on Tuesday.

So that’s how at least one Area Man happened.


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