With today’s poll coming in at 6.5% for Piratenpartei Berlin and just nine days until the election, every prediction from a month ago has come true. The chance of success in the election has now climbed from 90% to 99%.
When the poll at 4.5% was published one month ago, I predicted that the polls surveyed entirely after that poll would show a gradually increasing support. Today, I understand that media is discussing the Piratenpartei as this election’s sensation, which would reduce the rest of the tactical plans to the simple “don’t screw up”.
As I said in the blog post from a month ago, I’m planning to come to Berlin for the victory election night dinner on Sunday 18th. It’s the memory of a lifetime, remembering the election night dinner in Sweden at the victory in the European Elections in 2009. You don’t want to miss it for anything. Heck, I’m flying in from Sweden to attend. So does the chairman of our youth section, Gustav Nipe.
But even celebration needs some planning. There are several practical details that came out well from our victory dinner, and some that I would have done differently today. Therefore, here are a few tips for Piratenpartei Berlin ahead of the fantastic party nine days from now:
- Reserve space for the press. Expect TV cameras and crew along one entire wall in a hall for 150-200 people. Also, make sure that the key people — the chairman for Berlin and for the federal-level party — sit in places that are accessible to photographers. You’ll easily have 30-40 professional cameras flashing at you when the exit poll results arrive.
- Let the press know where you’ll be. Send out a press release to local, national and international press at least one week ahead (meaning essentially now). You may or may not want to do the hassle with individual accreditation of press people; that’s your choice.
- The chairman for Piratenpartei Deutschland and Piratenpartei Berlin will have their hands full during the night. Arrange for a press contact with a shortlist of prioritized press that can contact you from offsite during the night; those not on the list will have to be onsite or without a story. My shortlist had ten news outlets: CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, Associated Press, Agence France Presse, Reuters, TorrentFreak, Wired, Numérama, and Ars Technica. You should construct your own list of favored press.
- Make sure that everybody can watch a TV screen. This can be done auditorium-style with a huge screen at the stage in a large hall or sportsbar-style with smaller TV screens everywhere.
- You’ll want to make a lot of your own media during the night, too. Don’t worry too much about photos, there will be many of those from the people attending, but you will need to make your own HD footage for later. The press will ask for this one year from now as they’re making stories about the Piratenpartei. You’ll want to use it for cutscenes, too. Put two or three HD video cameras on tripods overlooking the crowd and the key people — do not repeat not use them handheld in key moments such as when the exit polls come, the photographers won’t be able to keep them still and you’ll end up with useless footage — but put them on tripods and just let them run. Don’t worry about sound quality, you’ll just hear the roof lifting anyway when the exit polls arrive, which is the whole point.
- Key moments you want for video for yourself are some from the preparation, as the dinner is being served, and most importantly, when the exit polls are presented and when the first votes arrive. Some singing and team feeling is nice, too.
- Don’t expect to do anything except talk to the press for the entire next day, the 19th. I had planned on resting. That was a joke; I was on the morning news sofa at six in the morning, followed by TV crews who wanted to do a the-morning-after story at breakfast at eight in my home. The entire day continued in the same style for me. So did it for our newly elected Member of European Parliament, independently.
- You’ll have more people than ever listening to the story in-depth after that Sunday, skipping the easy and cheap ten-second rhetoric. People will genuinely want to understand. It’s a great feeling of relief, like you don’t have to play the game any more, but really get the time and space explain what we’re about. That will last for several weeks.
I’m sure there’s more, but this is what I would think the most of if doing it again. See you at the party!