Friday, June 17, 2011

Gentlemen of the press

Russell Joslin and David PledgeThis week I've been doing a bit of publicity work for the model boat club. A press release was prepared a couple of weeks ago and then passed to my PR-savvy friend to turn it into something that would have news editors salivating and begging to cover the story:

Issued: 8th June 2011
Hard work pays off for model boat club.

Knightcote Model Boat club, based on Southam, Leamington Spa, will be officially opening its new club house on the 19th June.

This south Warwickshire based group has over 50 members from the Warwickshire area who meet every week. The club is open to all with an interest in things nautical and members can sail electric, steam and sail boats on 1/4 acre lake. Those with a competitive streak can race speedboats while others prefer the relaxation of operating highly detailed scale models.

Chairman David Pledge said “The old clubhouse was starting to leak so we decided it was time for a revamp. Our numbers have increased so much since we built the old club house, it was also time for some more space.”

Now, four months later after 240 paving slabs, 20 tons of road scrapings, 11 tons of sand, over 1000 man hours and a giant crane; the new clubhouse is ready to be opened.

Work started in February with the help of a hired digger and lots of shovels. A crane normally used to move canal boats in and out of the water lifted the new building over a 30 foot high hedge. The old premises haven't been scrapped but are now to be used as storage.

With a limited budget and the environment in mind, the club house and surrounds have been remodelled with a lot of recycled items donated by local builders and friends. This has even meant rescuing some curbstones that have lain in a hedge for more than a decade.

David said “I'm really proud of the work put in by the members. A group of us have been putting in a lot of effort purely for the fun of it. We've had a good laugh, even when wallowing around the in the mud laying paths, but the results are something the entire club can be proud of.”

For more details about the club contact club secretary Derek Nelson on XXXXXXXX

I then sent it off to all the local papers and TV. A couple of hours later a phone call came in from Radio CWR who had received the press release from their colleagues on the telly side. Whilst we weren't going to get on camera, they were keen to send a reported to record a "package" for later broadcast.

I also had a call from the Leamington Observer. They didn't like the photos I'd attached but could they come and take their own ?

Of course they could. So on Monday, Mike, David and I posed with some boats for the man with the camera and an incredible 15mm wide angle lens. The results appeared in the paper yesterday and while the words are excellent, I can't help feeling that I would have picked this picture or this one rather than the shot used.

Anyway, on Wednesday, Russell Joslin from CWR arrived and proceeded to record a load of stuff for editing together. I'm not sure what he made of us initially but like a pro, he quickly worked out a plan and we recorded what to me soudned like lots of good stuff. As part of this, we taught him to sail a boat since that always works well for media types who like that sort of "beginner tried something new with hilarious consequences" shtick. He left having been plied with tea, and then came back again to get a bit more.Then left only to return a few minutes later to say that the presenter had really gone for this and could someone go along to the studio in the morning to do something live for the breakfast show.

More on that another day. For the moment (and next 7 days), you can listen to the results here:

46 minutes in - Pre-recorded item with me and David Pledge done at the club.

2 hours 48 minutes in - I took a little boat along to the studio and had a chat. This will appear as a video soon so I'll link and tell a bit more when that happens.

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