Twitchhiker | Paul Smith's travel tales from here and there

A helping hand from the Hundredth Monkey
17/02/2009, 08:53
Filed under: twitchhiker project | Tags: , , ,

I’ve been struggling to keep my head above water, trying to juggle work, home life and Twitchhiker. It hadn’t been getting any easier and on Sunday night, I finally accepted defeat; I needed help or I’d end up failing this journey before I began.

At any one time, I tend to have no more than a dozen emails lounging about my inbox; everything gets actioned, binned or filed away where I’ll forget about it. I’ll know if it was very important if somebody emails me to ask why I didn’t follow up the very important email they sent previously. I tend to file them, too.

About a fortnight ago, my inbox was as sparse as a nun’s bathroom. By last Sunday it resembled a whore’s kitchen after a flat party. On went the marigolds and I began trawling, reading and deleting the 211 unread emails received in the previous two weeks. This kind of thankless task is no more rewarding than cleaning the piss-splashed patch of flooring directly behind the toilet; it’s not something that can be celebrated or rewarded, and nobody but you knows or cares when it’s been done.

Like a typical grunt of a man, I’d thought I was managing very well by myself, without a lick of help from anybody else. Of course, I was an utter arse to think such a thing:

Dear Paul – I’m writing to you on behalf of the One Show [on BBC1]. We’re currently preparing a piece about Twitter, and would be really keen to interview you about your Twitchhiking adventure.

Can I ask whereabouts you are at the moment and whether this is something which might interest you?

All best

The email was dated 6th February. There was precisely no point in following it up because I’d watched the edition of the One Show that featured Twitter. Last week. The opportunity to plug Twitchhiker on national primetime television, on BBC1 no less – gone. Balls and damn and hell and balls once more.

No more, I thought. If I was to make this work, if I was to keep raising money, I needed help. Yesterday I met with Jane and Fran at PR agency Hundredth Monkey, who have kindly agreed to help me not lose any more interview requests down the back of the sofa. Jane will have access to my travel itinerary as I make it up, so they’ll be able to see where I can and can’t squeeze in requests. Her contact details are on the Contact page, unsurprisingly.

This isn’t about creating a PR and media campaign for Twitchhiker; all the press to date has been as a result of Twitter spreading the word – I haven’t picked up the phone or emailed journalists about it. That said, I’m probably going to make a trip to London next week to drum up support for the cause; the donations for Charity: water have slowed to a trickle and there’s so much more I want to do and share with you if we hit the £3,000 target. The momentum is still there but it’s in danger of stalling and I can’t let that happen.

If you get a chance, read the story of the hundredth monkey; it sums up neatly what we’re trying to do with Twitter on this journey together.


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