Tag Archives: quango

PR and a missed opportunity

Phil: The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed that this blog has a new picture at its top. This is the result of a session with the camera last week. We returned to the scene of the crime quango to get some pictures of ourselves with The Book and hopefully, the old name boards and building.

This isn’t some weird ego trip, it had a serious purpose. Since everyone and their dog seems to be touting a book around publishers and agents, we need to stand out from the crowd and with that in mind, plan to generate some press interest. Candice has knocked up a press release (I make it sound easy but it probably requires hours of pained work honing every single word to perfection). Local press likes pictures, preferably ones with people faces in so we have to appear in front of the camera.

The big quango building has been taken over by a new quango so that wasn’t any good, but the old buildings were the ones we actually worked and they still had the appropriate signs. Camera on tripod, I spent an hour setting the self timer and running around to get in the shot. As well as building shots we took a few stock items including one of us sitting back to back on the grass. This seemed like a good idea except that I nearly flattened my colleague at the first attempt as I sprinted around to get into place. Handy hint for anyone planning the same thing – get the skinny one to do the running to reduce the chance of injury.

Anyway, the pictures turned out OK except I have two expression when asked to smile in front of a camera – glum or grimace – so I need to work on that a bit. Look out for the story soon in your local rag.

However all this might not have been necessary if we hadn’t missed out on a golden PR opportunity. I don’t blame myself of course, I’m a web guru apparently so can’t be expected to spot these things until too late.

It appears there is a big wedding in London on Friday. And to cover it there are lots of media types hanging around Westmister Abbey. And they are bored. After doing the “Here we are in Londonshire, England and look at the old buildings” bit, cameras are being pointed at any numpty who looks British. I noticed this on seeing a bloke who’d been camped out on the pavement since Wednesday being interviewed.

Now, if we had nipped down there with sleeping bags and a tent, NBC, ABC, Fox et al, could have had an interview along the lines of:

Permatanned interviewer: So, here we are on the streets of Londonshire waiting for the wedding of Prince Williams and Lady Kat of England. I’m talking to a couple of keen royalists who have already grabbed their spot in front of the church. Tell me, what are you doing while you wait to see the happy couple ?

Candice (also tanned but not as orange): Oh I just had to be here to see Kate. The dress will be spectacular I’m sure.

Phil (interrupting): While we wait we thought we’d write a book. [Waves book]

Candice: Yes, it’s a love story just like Will and Kate’s. We are just looking for a publisher. If you see our sleeping bags, they have a web address of our bolog where you can read more. Let me read it for people in Ohio, www dot nolanparker dot co dot uk

Interviewer: That’s great. More after these words from our sponsors.

As I say, a missed opportunity.

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Pole dancing in the office?

Candice: Yes really, we were pole dancing in the office, it was a very progressive place, this quango.

No, seriously, back in the time line of how this little beauty of a book  came about there were some very weird situations. 

Once we got in the flow of writing, ideas came thick and fast, some of them autobiographical and some I have no idea where they came from but they just popped into my head. 

So Phil and I would be writing chapters at home and then emailing them to work for the other to critique.  Sometimes, due to the fact the company was closing down and work was getting thin on the ground, we could crack on with editing and doing some writing in the office.  Being a progressive company we were allowed to wear iPods, and once the Pod went on I’d disappear into the world of KOD never to be seen again.  In fact the number of times an email came in to do some work and I’d be like, “Hang on, I’m right in the middle of something, and now you want me to do some WORK!”

So imagine the surrealness, sat in an open plan office of about 40 people, who are in differing states of depression due to the fact they have just been given their marching orders, and you are chortling in the corner because you’ve written a cracking line or Phil’s sent a suggestion over.

The number of times I had to pretend I had something stuck in my throat, “No I’m not laughing, honest!”

So, we come to the pole dancing.  To create tension, Kate has a love interest, Dave, her old university flame; but a co-worker takes a fancy to him too.  Now imagine Tracey, we all have one in the office; office flirt, likes to wear minimal clothing what ever the weather or situation, and if you see a man you like, she wants him too!   But our Tracey has a taste for clothes from net a porter, due to her inheritance, and for tequila.  One too many and she’s pole dancing for Dave. 

So I’m busily writing this situation and around me people are making tea, discussing office politics and getting more documents printed.  Too bizarre for words!

Of course there would be cake too – as that always helped the creative processes.  Today’s representation is from yumm in Zellig at the Custard Factory – topped with a red nose to celebrate comic relief.

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