I’m going away on holiday tomorrow. A week away. Riding bikes. With close friends. It’s my Stag Do.
This is obviously a lovely thing. The only negative aspect to it has been that last week I had to cram in a whole lot of work and get it handed in. I didn’t want to fall behind any deadlines. Although these are my deadlines that I’ve self-imposed on myself I do know what I’m like. If I fall behind I’d never catch up. Despite some temptations I’ve been very good at sticking to my schedule and in some circumstances actually doing stuff much earlier than I need to.
The features that only really involved me weren’t a problem. Some features were turned around within 48hrs of starting them from scratch. The single problematic feature was an interview. Interviews seem to either be really straightforward to do or a logistical and political nightmare.
Basically I’ve been trying to interview someone at British Cycling about what it is exactly that the organisation does for the average Joe mountain biker. It started off promisingly. I found an appropriate and interesting sounding person. In my ideal world I could have turned up at the BC offices later that wek (they’re not far from where I live), chatted to the person for an hour or so with my Dictaphone, shot a few photos and gone home. But then he said I had to consult with their PR Dept. And then it got a lot more tricksy and boring.
They requested to see my questions beforehand. They replied with something along the lines that this operation was going to have to pass under a few different people, with certain questions requiring different people to answer. Which I kind of understand but it does mean “interview by committee” and a dry, very personality-free feature where a faceless organisation spouts the party line. I wanted to get to know a person within the faceless organisation and get across the message that BC is actually mainly staffed by keen cyclists just like you and me.
As it stands the ball is in their court. I’m getting vague “we are very busy” email responses when I ask how things are. So I’ve decided to not hold my breath and have begun to arrange a replacement subject for interview instead. This subject is a bike designer. Within a day of making contact we’re further on that I am with British Cycling. If the BC interview doesn’t meet my cut-off deadline this time, this bike designer interview is all primed and ready and will be perfectly doable in time. Knowing this will make me worry less during my holiday.
Like sponsored bike riders, bike designers treat the invite to being interviewed as an opportunity rather than a threat. This is why magazines always have those type of people as interviews.
I am going to stick with the BC interview because I’m like a dog with a bone now. Not only am I determined to get an interview out of them, I’m going to make the feature interesting to read even if it kills me.