Thursday, 19 March 2009

TV, PR stunts and my week

Talk about exhausted, I've never had a migraine in my life and today I did...crazy swirling visuals and then the onset of a headache which can only really be associated with the stresses I've been placing myself under the last few days.

I've been on the back foot ever since returning from Canada, where I'd been for a fortnights holiday with my girlfriend Bre, the other UK finalists had the advantage of two weeks self-promotion whilst I was out of the country and really need to pull my socks up to stand any chance in the media scrum which has seriously dissolved to nothing in that time.

What I needed a was stunt, a really good PR stunt which instead of appealing to all of the radio stations, tv channels and media oputlets directly, would instead draw the journos out of their offices to witness the Ben-style crazy event.

So as with everything in life I started off big...and then had to tone it all down again as my expectations and dreams were slowly shattered and lay in tatters around me. It really was a hugely depressing three days as deals and pledges fell through all around me.

Try Trafalgar Sqaure on Mothers Day, with a 10m x 10m acrylic fish tank full of water, fishes of course! Mumm Champagne supplying the bubbly for the game 'Champagne Cork Bobbing' and three or four travel companies promoting themselves alongside and also footing the bill for the entire thing!

But how much is Trafalgar Square you ask....only £1000 per hour!! A cost which scared the life out of me and the travel companies who I'd asked. "Oh we'll do it if we can come along for free you know!" Yes but unfortnately my pocket doesn't stretch quite as far as that I'm afraid, so the idea here was canned.

I wandered back from, one of the Australian candidates, Hailey's little gathering at Big Ben with a heavy heart and a heavier bladder as I trundled down the embankment thinking of new plans. The National Theatre had an amazing site right on the Thames with a high footfall and a big enough car park to house the tank and truck so thought I'd struck gold when I went inside to enquire about its viability and Alison there said it'd be fine. All I had to do was send her my proposal and we'd start working together, finally some success!

The next day arrived, I finished the proposal and before I could send it I'd had a message from Alison to say that they now wouldn't be able to host the event as they (a) didn't have the staff on Mothers Day and (b) didn't think the underghround carpark would be able to support the weight of the filled tank and truck. Great back to square one....or so I thought, it was actually square two. Worse was to follow.

Establishing exactly when the fishtank would be ready and transported down to the capital from Birmingham was the next issue raising its ugly head and it got worse the further into it I got. Yes, they could supply the tank to me free of charge but as it was made from matt acrylic it would have to polished in order to make it transparent...a process which would take two men five days and there wasn't enough time left! This was turning into a disaster.

So I'd been left with no location and no tank.

Working full time is the way to pay the bills but not the way to try and organise a PR stunt with limited time or funds, I'd only been back at work for two days after a year off and was seriously taking the biscuit with my boss!! Phone calls all day and hardly any progress for the projects I was meant to be working on at all. Eeek.

Today has been the best day of the lot, my dear friend and Location Manager Luke Marshall got on the case. His 15 years of experience working in London finding sites for major films, tv programmes and commercials paid off and by lunchtime we had a site on the edge of the Thames in Hammersmith. The age old 'Its not what you know.....' really meant something today!

The fishtank has been scaled down slightly to a large paddling pool but the concept is the same, me in the water in a suit, free champagne for the winners of my competition and lots of friends there for support along with the masses of public and media (hopefully!) who'll be walking that way on Mothers Day.

I have everything crossed and can't wait to get in yet more cold water after the application video, but it should be damn good fun all round.

Bring on Sunday, more to follow....

1 comment:

Unknown said...

We are an adult Literacy group, who have read about your Australian adventure, and wanted to post our first blog.
I would like to have your job! (Abdi)
Are you finding new job a life-changing experience? (Amir)
What will you do when this amazing job ends? (Alan)
Have you ever thought about marrying your girlfriend?(Sharrell)