We subscribe to Materials Recycling Week, and having submitted it as an article, were pleasantly surprised to find my recent blog republished by them just now:
By Peter from Junkk.com
What was not so great was to see a related earlier blog by one of their journalists, dated March 9, where she found herself '... pleasantly surprised by just how much emphasis has been put on recycling and sustainability in the home', in obvious awe of the celebrities she met, and whose stands (which, unlike ours, we rather suspect may not have been charged for, despite being very commercial, and well-promoted, high-end enterprises) she was obviously introduced to (two, ironically, just a corridor away from our own).
Reason being that we are taking the organisers well and truly to task over the avowed theme, and this really is not going to be helpful. But it also highlights the disconnect that can obviously occur between what some organisations say and what they share (in PR, press packs, guided tours, etc) and what gets written, perhaps with the best of intentions, by journalists on tight deadlines.
We know the lady in question, and she is passionate about the environment. Sadly, we do not recognise the show emphasis she described. I know it can be tricky to repay an invitation to a press launch with some constructive criticism (check out my review of the Dead Ringers story to see how I tried to balance my views whilst still saying what I genuinely felt, which was that it was an awful lot of money on something that didn’t really get to grips with all the issues it should have, doubtless making grumpy the show PR and all associated Gov, Local Gov and NGO types who get to play with the huge amounts involved).
There is a heady cocktail at work here, involving a lot of folk, and delicately balanced relationships between those who need, and those they’d like to be needed by. I'd include in this, big time, WRAP (who sponsored the Recycle Now alley, and whose cited participation in the marketing by the show sales guys was highly instrumental in our taking part).
But perhaps most important is what the general public who visited thought of it all.
I was there every day, and from those who came to the show and visited our stand (it is... interesting... that we were not one an environmental journalist was told about, came to (at least announced), or felt worth mentioning, despite being only one of a half-dozen scattered about in several hundred) it split into two distinct groups: those who had no clue the show was anything to do with environmental issues, and those who came because they had heard, found our little oasis, and shared our views that it was nothing like it had been billed, for exhibitor or interested visitor.
As a courtesy to the MRW editor (with whom we truly value our good relationship) I have called to tell him of our views and my intention to write this, and we have in a most civilised fashion agreed that it is all about freedom of speech. So here's hoping I can still articulate my views beyond these pages.As part of our follow-up we will be continue to seek those of others who took part and visited, and it will be interesting to see the picture that emerges.