Monday, June 2, 2008

PR tag

Playing the game of tag during elementary school days was a fun experience. I rarely got caught. It must have been because of my speed. Whenever there was a time I felt that I was in danger of a hand laying its touch on me, my speed enabled me to escape its reach. For me, playing tag was a youthful escape for me, a chance to roam freely, until I became "it".

Being "it" in the game of tag meant that now I became the one who had to chase the other school children across the yard. With the pressure of this task now focussed on me, suddenly the game of tag wasn't so fun.

The responsibility of chasing down 10 or more other kids, each running off in their own direction, was a tiring chore. Needless to say when looking back to the days in the yard when I was "it", I'm glad are over. But this game of tag was not done with me, with last week's time in the office full proof of that.

Most of the time at volunteering when I' m not in front of a computer, looking at the screen and losing my eye sight because of it, there is a black device I use for communication which occupies my time.

This device and I, usually get along pretty good. It helps me when I want to reach people in far places, while I return give it the utmost care that it deserves, there is no slamming it with me. However, it was on this occasion in the office where this device, the phone, and I would come to a blows. My patience would be tested through a game of tag, much like in my youth, leaving me frustrated as to where I should turn for relief.

At the sport association where I volunteer, we are currently conducting media tours country wide. A media tour is when you meet with editors, assignment editors in an effort to raise awareness of what your organization is doing.

So as an added responsibility of mine, it was my job to call the big well known media in Toronto (both print and broadcast) in an effort to try and book the chief of communications of our office (I like to simply call him chief), in our office as well as athletes which reflect our organization, in an informal meetings with these various media.

But I would be working with a hard deadline. I was to have as many meetings as I could book confirmed for the next day. With the afternoon sun already pulled in it was time to get to work.

When I got back to my desk, I jumped on the phone. My first call actually went quite well. I got a hold of the assistant to the president of a large broadcast media. I told her what we were trying to accomplish and we exchanged contact info, so the chief could go into more depth with her.

Not too bad I remember saying to myself. I was excited to be talking to someone so high up in the media. Little did I know that this would be the only excitement of the day.

Call after call, with nine in total that were made, went unanswered. I did whatever I could to get a hold of these people, spending a solid at the task. In the end all that I was left with was the drone of various voice mails, which I faintly can still hear ringing in my head. I was "it" in this effort to chase down these men and women of the media, and there was nothing I could do to catch them.

After these many unsuccessful attempts, I reported back to the chief. He was not surprised in the results. To him it was very much expected. Toronto, being the big city it is, mixed with the air of being the centre of the universe whirling around, probably played a role in my lack of success he thought.

To me it just reinforced what I have already known for some time. Being "it" in a game of tag can be a difficult proposition. But it's something that with perseverance and trying your best is all that can be done in an effort to win the game.


Anonymous said...

Nice post; great parallel drawn between the children's game of tag and telephone tag.