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
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.