Why I chose to #FollowTheFairies anyway
More heavy rain tapped on the streets of Falmouth this morning as somehow another Friday has sneaked up and hoodwinked us into thinking this means a day of rest. Sometimes this is the case, but this week doesn’t seem like one of those weeks.
Gearing up for all sorts of things that need to be sorted for my trip to help families in Ecuador prepare small cacao plantations; whilst trying to meet deadlines for clients from Truro to Trowbridge and ‘Cisco to Singapore; something about those pesky fairies goaded me into ditching the pressures of PR; the wonders of writing; and use my words for free.
Arguably, a marketing campaign on both their part and mine, the fairies tell us to help people; as they are doing. To raise brand loyalty, yes. But also to actually help people. Unlike the M&S campaign, I don’t have heaps of money to throw at sensationalising my ‘good deeds’. I just work some extra hours and – yes – probably feed my Florence Nightingale complex. Will I gain recognition by working for free? I doubt it. I’m an atheist so I don’t think it secures any afterlife for me.
But I didn’t get into this industry to make loads of money, though. I did it to feel empowered and move away from an education system I felt was demonstrating the wrong values to students; perpetuating stigmas. I did it because I actually love words. I did it because I want to empower local communities to create opportunities for young people. And I continued with it because I have started to see the changes taking place.
I wax lyrical about patience and tenacity; the two being major players in the long waiting game of content marketing. At the same time, I run consuming PR campaigns, liaise with businesses from foragers to wine experts; cacao farmers to counsellors and most things in between. I type and tap and edit and ponder and I feel permanently unable to catch up with my to-do list.
And yet in the middle of this frantic world of rushing photos here and articles there, and getting x linked up to y; sometimes it’s good for me to just remember what’s really important. So, when a little girl I used to babysit for (who is now 30…) asked me if I can help to raise awareness about her campaign to help Abi walk, I took the fairies’ advice and I used some of my day to help get this campaign some traction.
I’ve always felt with charity that I can give time more than money; having still not got out of my student overdraft. So even though I know my ‘good deeds’ are perpetuating a campaign for a big corporation, and even though writing about them instantly devalues their altruism: hopefully they will help, in some small way, to make a difference to someone’s life.