How did a marching band accomplish this?
Timing is everything.
And, of course, having a good backpack helps, too.
Before the band stepped foot on foreign soil, the band directors, university relations and I carefully constructed a plan of updating content both live and delayed to get the maximum impact from the trip.
Pushing out daily updates through DropBox, our team was able to provide media outlets with photos, video and daily briefings before the evening news deadlines.
Don’t discount the army of band parents who also took to social media to check up on the status of their kids and spread the word. Multiple news outlets received phone calls from band parents and Gator fans asking why there wasn’t more coverage of the band’s trip.
Taking to Twitter, the band also made contact with key media outlets covering the event, specifically the major NBC affiliates in Florida to get our content out.
Coordinating all of this overseas, in a different time zone and trying to film the trip, was no easy task.
Each day started at roughly 5 a.m. (London time), which is midnight back in the states, to check up on the news outlets in the U.S. before the day started. Usually the band had at least two events per day - this could be rehearsals, performances or visit to a historic site or venue.
Between events I would find a trusted Pret A Manger, which was a lifesaving sandwich shop that had reliable wifi to send back updates via Twitter, Facebook, e-mail and DropBox.
Once the day ended (for the band), I would usually venture through London to shoot additional footage of the city by night for packages to be produced about the trip. Then I’d take the last train back towards the West side of London near Heathrow Airport - the blue Picadilly Circus line to be exact - to the Hatton Cross Underground station and take the 285 bus (a 24-hour route) back to Feltham station, which was across the street from our hotel.
I’d get in about 1 or 2 a.m. (London time), which was perfect to check up on the evening news in the U.S., edit some more footage and distribute, and then sleep for a few hours before doing it all over again.
This was beyond exhausting and photos can be found when I am often sleeping on tour buses with the band to get a few extra minutes in between stops.