I Guess I Have About 10 Minutes Left...

So Friday I get my latest batch of insulin pump supplies in the mail. Along with it is a stack of Minimed propaganda, which is fine. Looks like there's a calendar. Which is fine. Looks like there are three calendars, which is fine - if you really like calendars. ("Why am I getting 3 calendars?" I wonder as I thumb through it.)

Lo and behold, I'm Mr. April. Which is exactly what I've been calling myself in front of my wife since that moment.

It's a decent pic - used to be my profile pic on this blog and was from last year's triathlon. The calendar itself is interesting, 3 or 4 athetic guys, 3 or 4 children, a couple of teenagers and an adult woman or two. Illustrative of 1 of the problems of diabetic marketing: aside from a worthless pancreas, we have nothing in common and thus, look a bit odd all thrown together on the same calendar.

Nevertheless, as Mr. April, I approve.

And then today the local tv station showed up to interview me about being Mr. April. Nah, I'm kidding. They did interview me, but it's about our sweet new offices. If you're local, check out WGAL tonight. If you're not and they post the story online, I'll link it.

Inquiring minds want to know more about the calendar deal. Here goes:
Here's a pic of the April page, and here's a link to the pic I provided to Medtronic.

Last April, I was contacted by Medtronic about being interviewed for upcoming PR material. Why they contacted me, I don't know, exactly. They said they were going through some of their old e-mails and if memory serves right - I did send them one really nice e-mail soon after I went on my pump, but that would've been at least five years ago, since I'm on my second pump and had the first for more than four years. At any rate, after I sent them the answers to my interview questions, they asked if I might have a picture to provide them - ideally of me running, since my interview questions focused on that. I'd recently finished a local triathlon and liked a few of the official race photos. So, I decided to do something I'd never done before: bought the commercial rights to the pic. It wasn't cheap, but I felt like I might want to use it for several reasons in my professional life.

Lessons learned/advice/etc.:
1.) If you like a race pic a lot, at least consider purchasing the commercial rights. I've done so exactly twice, but because my personal life has at least a little overlap with my professional life, it's not a terrible idea. That being said, the pic. I use most often these days is the only other one I've bought professional rights to, simply because I consider myself much more of a runner than a triathlete.

2.) If you are an active diabetic, let Medtronic know. PR people are always looking for a unique story. Diabetes + accounting = an ok story. Diabetes + mountain climbing = a better story. Or, in my case - diabetes + marketing an ok story. Diabetes + endurance sports = a better story. Had my former agent ever sold my novel, I probably would've told the diabetes + novelist story. (Diabetes + failed novelist, or anything + failed novelist, for that matter, is a far too-common story.)

3.) Erika mentioned she didn't get a Medtronic calendar and I'm not really sure how they're being distributed. Quite possibly, I got mine only 'cuz I'm in it. However, as a marketer I can tell you that most companies find calendars to be VERY easy to get rid of in the 4th quarter of the year and as difficult to rid yourself of as a bad house-guest come January. If you want one, I bet it won't take much more than a call to the 800 number (and if you're a diabetic w/ a pump you know the number) and you'll get 1 (or 3).

4.) I can't promise I won't call myself Mr. April again.

5.) For better or worse, when you give up rights, they're gone. Again, I'm a marketing guy, so I knew this, but until I saw the calendar, I knew nothing about it. Since giving consent to Medtronic, the only other thing I'd see from them was this electronic flyer. Simply an FYI to those who worry about such things (which, obviously, I don't do).

6.) Reading back, one could misconstrue #2 as being a dig at Jennifer Unter, my former agent. Quite the contrary: she tried to sell my book to a boatload of publishers and shared with me a corresponding load of detailed rejections. Sadly, though, that's what even a great agent does much of the time. But I couldn't ask for any more of her and if I ever manage to scrape together 80,000 or so reasonably entertaining words, she's the first person I'll call.

7.) This isn't meant to imply my first novel wasn't reasonably entertaining. Seriously, if you're a publisher and you're looking for minimalist lit. fiction that takes place in the most infamous dying coal town in the US, hit up Jennifer. Or me. Either way, we'll thrown in an autographed calendar to seal the deal.


  1. First, why was there no calendar in my recent supply shipment?

    Second, way to go Mr. April! I'm an aspiring Ms. October, any advice on how to break into the diabetic modeling industry would be greatly appreciated.

    Maybe next year you'll make the cover...

  2. Anonymous11:22 AM

    Okay, Marcus...you've got to post the pic.

  3. Anonymous2:09 PM

    Thanks for sharing the pics, Marcus - hope you enjoy your 15 minutes!

  4. Man... You're getting prettier and prettier with every day that passes. A calendar now? Jeez. That's funny.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The gun in my basement.

Sh*t Diabetics Say

First Love