#HLTHYLVN. We took out the vowels and laughed as we scribbled it on our notebook to-do lists and email signatures. As Healthy Living Captain at Mixte, this simple and borderline-hipster hashtag holds substantial meaning for me and my team, and it’s my hunch that healthy living in San Diego looks a bit different to us than most people.
When the North American Bikeshare Association asked me to present on media relations at its 2017 conference in Montreal, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. When I got to Montreal, I couldn’t believe the bike-friendliness of the city. And when I got on a bikeshare bike, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.
This week, I sent the below email to the team at San Diego Organizing Project — the same week of the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia. We had just spent 1.5 hours of staff meeting discussing the role people who are white have in acknowledging their privilege – and how little it’s done. From there, the conversation turned into how we would host a press conference in two days where interfaith leaders would unite and denounce racism and white supremacy in San Diego County.
This crossed my mind more than once on our trip. We had a little more than three weeks to travel, camp and live in a van as we toured the southern island of New Zealand. I didn’t ride a bike once. And so I wondered: Did my bike miss me as much as I missed her? Because I really, really missed her.
Today, The United States gets a new president. I see people expressing trauma and tragedy – for good reason. I think of all the values Mixte represents, the work we do and all the people who continue to experience oppression. Feelings of sadness are more than justified, but I don’t want us to feel helpless anymore.
(Thanks for the beautiful photo above at Shaper Studios, Pierce Kavanaugh.)
(Photo credit: The fantastic Ryan of socalsessions.com)
It wasn’t what I thought was going to happen that Tuesday. I thought it was just a normal day of getting awesome media coverage for the San Diego Bike Coalition and my favorite local bike shop, Hub + Spoke Cycleworks. We met the news station at 5:30 a.m. to talk about Tour de Fat – New Belgium Brewing’s wacky biking-riding, beer-drinking, music-playing carnival that rolls through San Diego every September – and after the camera crew left, I got inspired.
Any PR company will get you media for your event. That’s what PR companies do.
But how many PR companies will get you awesome media for your event? How many PR companies will drive three hours to manage several TV segments beginning at 4:20 a.m.? How many PR companies will spend an entire Saturday devoted to navigating interspersed reporters and media inquires? And how many PR companies will, while at your event, spontaneously spring into action when a crisis appears, effectively strategizing for all media and social media communication in the moment?