Despite my eagerness to blog during last week’s trip to Philadelphia, there was very little time to do anything but sell and promote Scottish craft. In the first of a handful of blogs, I will reflect on the opportunities, achievements and lessons we have learned during our American launch.
It’s the understatement of the year to say that the past few weeks have been a little hectic. As well as launching our re-brand and the new website (supported by Creative Scotland through the AmbITion project) we have also launched Craft Scotland in the USA with our first show and a new website.
The day before the Craft Scotland team flew to Philadelphia I was standing in the penguin enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo, taking photographs of my best friend who was proposing to her now fiancée (as I said, hectic isn’t the word) when I received a phone call from Claudia Monteiro, our freelance PR person. Would I be willing to do a quick interview on Good Morning Scotland, the national breakfast programme on BBC Radio Scotland, prior to catching my taxi to the airport?
Never one to miss an opportunity, the following morning I set my alarm an hour earlier and headed to the BBC Scotland studio in Edinburgh with two suitcases in tow. The interview went well and was one of the many highlights in our continuing press campaign around our launch in the States.
At Heathrow we met up with the other makers (minus Grainne Morton who had flown to New York earlier and was meeting us in Philadelphia) and the excitement around ‘Team Philadelphia’ reached fever pitch. I soon discovered that we were being flown to Philadelphia from Heathrow by a Scottish pilot. When he was found loitering at the back of the plane enjoying a break, makers Claire Heminsley and Jilli Blackwood and I quickly told him all about Craft Scotland and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. Networking half way across the Atlantic - never an opportunity missed!
By the time we arrived at The Alexander Inn, our host hotel in the heart of the old town and the gay district of Philly, we were in need of refreshments so we headed to our local and were soon treated to the hospitality the Philadelphians are renowned for. Blind tasting of Irish whiskey versus Scotch whisky is never a good idea, particularly after an international flight and certainly not before a very long set-up day, but we persevered – in the name of networking of course – and flew the Saltire for Scotland well.
By the time I crawled in to bed my radio interview felt like a very long time ago indeed.
Unfortunately my radio interview with Good Morning Scotland is now closed on i-player, but here is a selection of other press coverage and blogs we have enjoyed:
BBC Radio Scotland Culture Cafe interview with weaver James Donald (please note this interview is available on i-player for a limited period. Interview starts at 40.00)
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