I was putting my feet up the week before Christmas. We’d had a hard, but good year in 2009. 2010 was going to be a tough start so having a couple of days off before the festivities seemed like a good idea. There wasn’t going to be much free time before March.
Then the phone rang. “Would you like to work on a campaign with Richard Curtis and Bill Nighy”. How do you say no to that?
There wasn’t going be any free time before March.
Working with the 62 organisations so far involved in the campaign presents a challenge. Having a team doing the digital work spread across 8 different organisations presents another. Having a week in which to pull the final elements all together was the most stressful.
The launch has been excellent. On day one there were over 10,000 votes cast, over 7,000 supporters signed up for email, 8,000 facebook fans and 1,500 followers on Twitter. We’ve been a top trend on UK twitter both days. The Bill Nighy video on YouTube was viewed 28,000 times. Not a bad start.
Jeremy and I have been given the task of co-ordinating the digital campaign, finding and commissioning content, managing digital outreach and acting as a critical friend for the campaign.
It’s been a fascinating process. There is a fair old culture clash at work. The campaign group gets together in the stately surroundings of the TUC’s Council Chamber, there is a focus on the film, on the advertising, on securing editorial with the papers. There’s a plan that works on a week by week basis. It is easy to dismiss the digital work as an aside, somewhere to host media and ask for sign ups.
It’s been a big part, and continues to be a big part of my job to drive home how the online side of the campaign requires day by day planning as opposed to week by week. It moves so much faster. I’m making the point that within hours of the launch the blogosphere will be alight with people trying to take the economic arguments apart. And it was. And how that can spread unless addressed. And it was. Eyes are being opened as to how much work is involved in engaging in the conversation. How much work is involved in maintaining the momentum.
The next steps involve developing the content, developing the site, maintaining the energy shown by our supporters and tapping their skills and inventiveness to find new ways of explaining the campaign to new people.