Monday, October 06, 2008

Poly public relations

As you all know, Saturday was the Poly Pride Weekend rally on the Great Hill in Central Park, and I had so much fun mingling with my poly friends and meeting new people. I arrived about a quarter to 11 to help set up the tents and signs, and it was looking pretty glum because of the wet, cold weather, but by noon the sun was out and the day turned out beautifully.

Once things got started there was too much for me to do, so I hung out with Lyndell and some of the other volunteers backstage, occasionally helping to facilitate media interviews throughout the day. As many people remarked all day, this year's event had an unprecedented amount of media coverage, both before and at the event, including stories in the New York Post, Village Voice, TimeOut Magazine, and the big kahuna, the front page of the Style section of the Sunday edition of the New York Times.

"Hopelessly devoted to you, and you and you" - October 5, 2008

I don't think it can be overstated how important this story might become when we look back on the history of the polyamory movement, and I'm proud to say that I had a hand in making it happen. I write case studies all the time for work, and here's my little personal case study on making this important story possible.

We got the lead on a writer interested in doing a story on polyamory from the event's keynote speaker, Tristan Taormino, author and columnist for the Village Voice. The PolyNYC president asked me for some advice on how to approach the writer to pitch the story. I researched all the stories written by this reporter in the past several years, and found a common theme - each one began with a personal anecdote on a real live subject. Based on this observation, I recommended that the president write the pitch offering someone's personal story, and it was Diana Adams, PolyNYC's vice president and poly attorney, who stepped up. This is what I do for a living - advise clients on how to gain positive media exposure, and for once, I'm happy that I've had a chance to do it for a cause I believe in.

I had a chance to meet Cunning Minx, who produces a weekly podcast on poly issues and who happens to also be from Texas, so we spent a few minutes talking about the Lone Star State. I also met Linda, one of the members of my women's poly group, who was there with her lover and his other partner. At one point I counted about 150 people there, which I'm sure was the largest gathering ever of poly people I've ever heard of. Some people recognized me from our monthly meetings, and it was nice sitting down and chatting with them informally, which we rarely do at meetings.

It would have been nice to go to the after-party, but I wasn't going to miss my family's Saturday night dinner and the finale of Season Two of Heroes, which ended on a somewhat unsatisfying note due to the Hollywood writer's strike. Still, it's all good stuff, and the SNL this week was way above par from the past two weeks.

Today I drove into the city yet again, this time with my family in tow so we could check out the new Vincent van Gogh exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. On the way to the museum, we saw these huge Hello Kitty statues made of painted bronze in the public atrium of an office building:

Hello Kitty

We also walked through a street fair on Lexington and the Polish Pride Parade on 5th Avenue on our way to MOMA. The van Gogh exhibit was fascinating, and we were also surprised to see that Salvador Dali's painting, The Persistence of Memory was back on display after a long hiatus. It's so much smaller than we expected it to be, only about the size of a sheet of paper.

I think everyone but Tara got a combination of museum fatigue and onset of illness, so we had to cut the visit a little short, but we all loved the exhibit and we had a good time together. Personally, I feel like I might be coming down with a sinus infection, but the next day or two will tell for sure.