– By Prashanth Ganapathy, Vibha Bay Area
As I was listening to leads of Dream Mile(DM) 2010 churning out ideas and action items to push the publicity into high gear for the last three weeks of the campaign, my thoughts went back to Dream Mile 2009. The first thing that came rushing back to me was how a bunch of us (not on any medication, I might add) came up with this “crazy” idea of trying to get Shah Rukh Khan for Dream Mile 2009. Yes by Shah Rukh Khan I mean THE ONE & ONLY K.k.k.k…kkk… King Khan who was here in the Bay Area last year filming for “My Name is Khan”.
Ribhu (DM 2010 lead) and I were new to Vibha and were leading publicity for DM. We had already garnered a dubious reputation of coming up with the nuttiest ideas but this one truly was the cherry on the cake… our finest moment….. We were…are still so proud of it….. I think the momentum of registrations had really picked up at this point and registrations team were really facing the heat of a mammoth turnout.. So when this idea first came up, it was more to tease them and get them to sweat some more….After all we all love to see Mukesh (National Fund Raising Director) in panic mode… We were even more suprised when people started considering it seriously!!!
Soon, we were following twitter to see where SRK was filming, planning on pitching tents outside his hotel in SF, talking to his agents to see if they could give us some face time. Some actually believed this would be possible and started planning for the worst… what if he actually turns up? Will we have a logistical nightmare on our hands? If a 1000 ppl running event turns into 10000 ppl stampede.. lets just keep it at if….. The logistics lead Anand was incredibly cool about this… which gave us even more fuel to pursue this…We tried hook and crook to try and get face time with SRK but to no avail! Also , after it truly sunk in that if he turns up, it wont be a pretty sight finally put an end to this grand plan.
But what this entire exercise gave us was incredible momentum going into the event…The registrations team was preparing for the worst.. the pledge team started dreaming about a big fat cheque from SRK, the publicity team.. well we didnt need any momentum at that point…. everyone was trying to apply brakes on us:-) But it did bring the entire Dream Mile team together for the final push.
This year we don’t have SRK in the Bay Area.. But we still need all the awesome volunteers we had last year to build the same momentum as we head into the the final days before the D-Day (June 27th).