Wednesday, 29 October 2014

For those about to Rock....Don't bother to issue a press release.....

A huge part of the challenge we face in trying to make the vision we've got for Sporting Memories Network a reality, is getting airtime, be that on social media, newsprint, radio etc.

Sure, the core activity we work on minute by minute, day by day, week by week is gathering evidence of need, measuring impact, evaluating our latest development in the model of delivery and consulting with participants, volunteers, facilitators, advisors, commissioners, policy makers and candlestick makers (do they still exist?).

But getting our story out there is also important in attracting attention of possible funders, commissioners & dare I say it potential sponsors. In an increasingly noisy world of social media, 24 hour TV news, reality TV and youtubers attracting followers by the million, a good old fashioned press release really won't get you anywhere unless lady luck is on your side.

Yesterday demonstrated just how a story can grow 'organically'.

Local Press 

Friday morning I had a chat with a local reporter on our current work in chairing a new task group on the role of sport in dementia friendly communities. Interview concluded and as we begin to wrap up, the question is posed if there is any specific local news to add to the story. "Well we've a lot of new star supporters on board since we last met, including Brian Johnson from AC/DC"

Saturday dawns and our local North East paper publishes an article on various aspects of our work, mentions our place as finalists in the Football Business Awards next week at Stamford Bridge, but includes snippets from Brian's memory and uses his name in the headline.

Article at one point was the paper's 10th most read item but gradually it slips off the most read list and I think that is that.

Monday Madness

Monday morning and afternoon is filled with bid writing in our quest to secure the funding we need to roll this concept out. Head down, coffee mug permanently being recharged, type, type, type. Message pops up on facebook from my brother.

"Have I seen the Guardian website today?"


"Have a look"

Guardian Music 

AC/DC's Brian Johnson becomes supporter of dementia charity


Fantastic, nice article based on the local paper's coverage. Great to see it. Back to the bid writing.

Ping.  Another facebook message
"Have you seen the NME?"
"errrr no....."


AC/DC's Brian Johnson becomes supporter of dementia charity

Bandmate Malcolm Young was diagnosed with dementia in September

Okay, that's quite surreal seeing us mentioned in THE NME! Kind of dreamed of being mentioned in it as a teenager but never thought it would happen (with me and this girl from Clapham)

Little were we to know what was to happen next.


"check out the ultimate classic rock site"

"Errr okay....."

Ultimate Classic Rock 

AC/DC’s Brian Johnson Joins Forces With Dementia Charity Following Malcolm Young’s Diagnosis

Read More: AC/DC's Brian Johnson Joins Forces With Dementia Charity Following Malcolm Young's Diagnosis |

AC/DC's Brian Johnson joins forces with dementia charity following Malcom Young's diagnosis


"Now check their facebook page"


Two hours after publishing their article fans had started liking and commenting on the article in their hundreds, then thousands. After four hours 30,000 people had liked the article & 2,000 had shared it. Twenty four hours on and that figure stands at 62,000 and 6,000 shares

The comments from fans were a mix of heart warming for the love of the band and heart wrenching for the despair towards the awful news that AC/DCs founder has had to retire from the band because of dementia. Many compliments were written towards Brian's actions too.

And so it continues with various rock magazines, blogs, news sites picking up the story.

As we wait to see what may happen next all I can say is Brian, Malcolm, AC/DC

We Salute You.