As Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe arrives amidst cost-of-living hikes, rising accommodation costs and ongoing concerns about the Festival’s size and future direction, The Stage asked leading voices in the industry and beyond about one thing they’d like to change to secure the festival’s future – including Storytelling PR’s own Managing Director, Miriam Attwood.
You can read Miriam’s thoughts in The Stage on protecting your mental health at the festival here, or – just as brilliant, our very humble opinion – her original first draft on emails, oil and gas, the necessity of ALL CAPS COMMS (and whether email servers will outlive humanity, Terminator-style…).
“I just had an artist send an email to me, featuring three words: emails emails emails. We’re all sending a lot of emails. Hey The Stage! Here’s another email. Beneath the flyers plastered to the cobbles and the comedians doing ever louder bits in the loft bar – is a simmering server of desperation (do servers have feelings?), trying to keep up with all the e-mails. I leave the house in the morning as my son cries out for me and I tell him ‘mum’s gotta go send some emails’. Sometimes it gets a laugh (not from the baby, he thinks emails are stupid).
The organisational bluster of the fringe is all consuming. You may ask why a PR is being glib about e-mails. I love emails. Little letters. Having fun crafting subject titles. Never using the subject line as an email. No no. Often we get really great emails – a booking – coverage with depth and awareness and a keenness to highlight’s someones life’s work – an incredibly thoughtful and caring piece of criticism for a show we are so proud to be working with – and just as often – not. We love words – and lovingly stitch together emails day after day from around January as we start to lock in who we’re going to work with all summer long. I remember first emails from Hot Brown Honey’s producer; Sian Clarke when I shouldn’t have been checking my emails on mat leave; this year Guido Garcia Lueches that just made me go YES. Yes yes yes. Emails offering jobs to new fringe staff, ready to be brought into the cult (of emails on email). Emails where you can’t work out if you’re being shouted at or if we’re all VERY TIRED. Using caps lock to accentuate when you’re VERY OVERWHELMED. Emails that thank me for being kind, as we’re not always kind at fringe, are we.
I have lots of adorable solutions for emails – I really like sending gifs with hidden meanings. My inbox is a mess, could you guess? And in the festival the new email alerts tings faster than a rat charging down the water of Leith after a sandwich discarded by a hungover audience member. But my love hate relationship will emails will sustain. Until the servers melt as we’ve not halted the rampant abuse of the world by oil, gas, Westminster and big Pharma, and the ground temperature in edinburgh hits 60 and the cobbles sink into the their cement casings. Maybe the servers will outlive us all, years after the earth has burned and the fringe is long gone, the servers will be tooting away, making up emails that say CAN YOU GET LYN GARDNER IN TO THE SHOW IT GOES UP IN 10 MINUTES. Because, of all the emails, some are just meant to be sent, IN CAPS until the very end of time.”