I’ve been pitching for sponsors and partnerships for SM Stowaway’s Mongol Rally adventure for 6 months now. There are three basic stories that we can tell for this epic 10,000 mile overland drive. There is the adventure travel story, the female empowerment angle (we are the only all women team) and of course, the lowest common denominator option, potential reality TV story of three strangers who came together on Twitter.
The more publicity we get, the easier it will be to raise money for The Lotus Children Center and meet our fundraising goal. The sad but true equation to all of this is the more we pander toward the reality TV angle, the more we sell out (so to speak), the easy it is to gain traction. The more we conduct ourselves as mature, mid-career, professional women, the less publicity we will gain, in return, less money for the charity.
In a recent post by Seth Godin, he talks about “wet environment”:
If you’ve ever fixed any kind of machinery, you know that a device that’s exposed to the elements is incredibly difficult to maintain. A washing machine or the underside of a car gets grungy, fast.
On the other hand, the dryest, cleanest environment of all is the digital one. Code stays code. If it works today, it’s probably going to work tomorrow.
The wettest, weirdest environment is human interaction. Whatever we build gets misunderstood, corroded and chronic, and it happens quickly and in unpredictable ways.
Now, no one wants career, reputation damaging publicity as a result of these 6 weeks to come. The Mongol Rally is meant to be an adventure of a lifetime, not something that ruins us. But we are human and the next 10,000 miles will be the wettest, weirdest environment possible.
Follow us on this adventure ahead and see how we survive, if we can strike the pitch perfect tone of dramatic narrative without deteriorating into reality TV drama queens (god knows I hate reality TV, but Godin is right, human interactions is the wettest environment in existence).
Or better yet, help us reach our fundraising goal, make a donation to the Lotus Children and turn the sad academic equation of drama = publicity on its head.
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