My 36 frenzied hours with the media team
On arrival at Gilwell after my slightly fraught travels, I was greeted by Simon, our Assistant Director – Media Relations, who had a few things to share...
Building on their success with coverage of the new Scouting for Skills book the previous weekend, our small media team of Simon, Andrew and Chris (Fozzy) had been working for several weeks on a story to celebrate our 5th year of growth. Even they didn’t realise just how successful they were going to be.
Having issued the Press Release on Friday, embargoed (the media asked not to release it) until 00.01 on 19th, they were busy ringing the various national media chasing them to cover the story. It wasn't long before the phones were ringing and press enquiries coming in, so the team were then meeting their requests ranging from an interview with a "badge expert" to a successful business person who had been a Scout and was prepared to do a feature article (thank you Aidan). For my part, I helped out with interviews with several of the national newspapers.
A key to our media success of recent years has been the prominence given to young people in telling our story. This one was no exception and it was going to be a privilege to be working alongside Alex and Grace, Explorer Scouts from Enfield over the next 36 hours.
My office at Gilwell doubles as a very effective radio studio with a direct ISDN line enabling good quality radio interviews. Just as well really because over the course of Sunday evening and Monday, we were to do more than 15 interviews, most live, from stations as far afield as Devon, East of England and Newcastle as well as national radio; 5 Live, Sky Independent News and Radio 4.
We also made our way to Television Centre in London for a live broadcast on BBC London's lunchtime programme. Broadcasting live to the capital from what was really a broom cupboard dispels any myths you may have about the grandeur of broadcasting!
Next to the role of young people, the appointment of local Media Development Managers in Counties and Districts has helped to give us real impact where it really matters, in your local newspapers, radio and TV. This story was no exception and using a template and advice provided by the Media team, tailored to the success of thir Couny or District, the MDMs also worked hard to convey your local successes.
The result of this frenzy of activity has been easy to see with a phenomenal level of coverage, the envy of many similar organisations and it continues. Want to Join enquiries on Monday and Tuesday alone were up five-fold at over 650 and we know this is only the tip of the iceberg with many times the number of calls going locally.
With so many local activities taking place every week, just imagine the impact you would have if you could get them in your local media every week - food for thought perhaps? To start, find out he name of your MDM and let them know what you are up to.
With 350 Queen’s Scouts travelling to Windsor this weekend to celebrate their personal achievements with HRH The Prince of Wales and our own Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, I wonder if we can make the headlines for the third Monday in a row?
Back to you Simon.