…when you’ve got an hour to write and send a press release after an important meeting with a minister, at least choose a pub with WiFi in it.
The past couple of months have been nothing less than a crash course in campaigning, mostly in the form of ‘how not to do it’. After our triumph at Pedal on Parliament we immediately repaired to the pub to celebrate and it didn’t occur to us that the real work (including writing press releases) had only begun. Since then we’ve been scrambling to catch up with the fact that if you do assemble several thousand people in support of something, then politicians actually listen to what you have to say and you have to act on that while the moment is fresh. Today saw us ushered into the hallowed precincts of Holyrood for a brief meeting with the Transport Minister, something which still feels faintly bizarre given that a few months ago we were nothing more than a group of people with a mad idea.*
We have at least now learned that you have to write press releases, and preferably in time for newspapers’ deadlines (I know, who knew?) so this time when we repaired to the pub we at least had the laptop out and something drafted (it’s hard to craft deathless – or even vaguely coherent – prose when everyone’s talking nineteen to the dozen around you). But we hadn’t learned that relying on your phone to act as a wireless connection with just five minutes before a deadline is unlikely to work. In the end the poor Edinburgh Reporter reporter who had dropped in in the hope of an exclusive had to lend us her dongle so we could send out our press release to the rest of her rivals…
We’ll be updating you with more hot tips as they come in.
*actually a group of people with a mad idea and a dangerous cycle repair kit, which had to be removed from one of our number before we could be let in.