Opinion: Why the wrong name can hurt our reputation

By JONAH BLOOM, campaignlive.co.uk, Monday, 24 January 2000 12:00AM

What do you want to be called? Answers on an e-mail please. Apparently, according to two letters on the subject that have ’literally flooded’ through our letterbox, we should not use the term ’sales reps’ when discussing media sales professionals.

What do you want to be called? Answers on an e-mail please.

Apparently, according to two letters on the subject that have ’literally

flooded’ through our letterbox, we should not use the term ’sales reps’

when discussing media sales professionals.



Such sensitivities are not unique to this industry. When I used to write

about accountants and finance types, we regularly received complaints

about the use of the phrase ’beancounter’ on our diary page. When

writing about the venerable public relations profession, another

magazine was often given a verbal spanking for using the phrase ’spin

doctor’ or even ’flack’. I have also learned that journalists do not

like to be referred to as ’hacks’, although personally I’ve never felt

in the least offended by this.



Why do all these people get so flustered by such descriptions of their

vocation? One can only assume it reflects a certain insecurity.



Nevertheless, in this case I tend to agree. Sales ’representative’ is

not really very descriptive. Aren’t we all representatives of our

companies?



So what should we call you? Of course, we try to stick to the tried and

tested ’media sales people’, but it becomes cumbersome when it appears

three times in one news story. We do apologise to the more paranoid of

our readers, who have been upset by the very occasional use of the term

’rep’, and we’d love to know what you think you should be called.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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