Busy times

SimonGeneral2 Comments

Life is particularly hectic at the moment and unfortunately that’s taking time away from blogging.

The main thing that’s keeping me busy in the day job, and extending the day job late into the evening is that fact that tomorrow is local elections day in the UK – in Medway the election count takes place overnight on Thursday evening.

For local government communicators this means the dubious pleasure of working all night at the election count.

At the last parliamentary election I worked on media relations for the local, regional and national journalists that attended the count. With three marginal seats it was a long night with plenty of recounts. In the end we finished up around 6.30am and trooped off home for a few hours sleep before returning to work.

This time around I’m overseeing the team’s work, and in particular making sure that the council’s website is kept up to date with the latest results through the night and running the big public information screen on the stage at the count.

It’s one of those nights where I marvel at the range of skills that public relations people need to have nowadays. Tomorrow night I’ll be stage managing the running of the audio-visual set-up one minute, and then be handling media questions and requests the next.

Versatility and an ability to be professionally sharp after 24 hours without sleep will be key to things going well tomorrow.

Luckily having a young baby means that I’m used to functioning with little sleep, but even so it’s going to be a long night tomorrow. The current favourite finish time in the sweepstake is 6am, but fingers crossed for something more like 4 or 5am and a problem-free count.

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