A Whirlwind of Media Interviews

I knew what was coming. I was dreading it. It was the one part of my role in the Etsy Strike movement that I was not comfortable with, in the slightest.

I would need to appear in interviews to talk to people. On video. In front of a camera. I would need to talk to people without tripping over my tongue. Or giggling like a fool. Or any number of other things I was certain I would do.

I’ve always known that video is a medium I should REALLY try to figure out if I want to be successful in my business. I mean, I make stuff that looks like this:

And I get photographs of it by dolling myself (and friends) up, and wandering around various public parks. That’s like, perfect fodder for Youtube or Tiktok!

I’ve tried to video tape photoshoots multiple times. I’m always shy to spend the time clipping and turning them into something to post… because, well, I’m an idiot. A funny idiot, but still an idiot.

For example – tripping across a greenspace seeing how much lift I can get under a wide hoopskirt with each step, while saying “bouncy bouncy bouncy bouncy…” yep, that’s me.

I know that idiocy is very entertaining – so it probably WOULD be very good as a channel of some sort. But there’s a line between entertaining fool and just plain fool – and I’m never entirely certain if I’ve crossed it! Video terrifies me, on principle. And I really couldn’t be an idiot on an actual real life news media interview.

It was coming, and I was going to have to step up. And so, I overprepared. Before my first interview, I spent probably about 5 hours memorizing responses to the questions I thought reporters would be most likely to ask.

I didn’t think of everything they would ask. Thus, I learned something very important during my first interview. Afterwards, I watched it, and I realized, I did significantly better on the questions I hadn’t prepared for!

Ah. Don’t overthink it. The thing I have to tell myself with almost everything I attempt.

It didn’t take long to realize that I really enjoyed media interviews. It’s a special combination of getting to talk to grown ups (work at home moms feel me on this one!), and feeling important/official. On April 7, 2022, came an opportunity to realize that I wasn’t half bad at it.

I had an interview with Yahoo Finance. Yes, I know, Yahoo Finance. I somehow didn’t put two and two together, until I was in the breakout room in a zoom call waiting to go on live television. I wasn’t live yet, but I could see what was currently being broadcasted in the call. The broadcaster introduced the segment that would include my interview. He started talking about Etsy’s stock. I saw a huge graph of Etsy’s stock price doing a nosedive.

And I thought, Oh. Shit. Yahoo Finance. Finance as in stocks! As in, a show meant for a bunch of people who aren’t particularly fond of these pesky Etsy strikers having a negative effect on their portfolios! Oh boy…

I was scared to watch that interview afterwards, until it got shared by someone who I was pretty sure wasn’t trying to make fun of me. So two days after it aired, I watched it. My eyes got bigger as I did.

I could see places where the reporter was trying to trap me into a bad answer – places I didn’t fall! For a work-at-home mom with with no professional media training, I think I did pretty damn good.

By 4/11, we were joking about how the interviews were coming in too quickly to keep up. By 4/12, we were too busy for joking! That day alone we posted 13 calls to Discord asking people to reach out to the reporters for interviews. Even with four of us on the core team doing nearly back-to-back interviews, we couldn’t keep up.

I had to download What’sApp, because reporters from other countries wanted to call me. My most epic moment occurred during a phone interview with someone from BBC. He asked what I sell on Etsy. I answered “I’m a gothic Victorian fashion designer!” He replied, “Oh. Wow! I wasn’t expecting that!” in a delighted tone – and I should add that he had the absolute smoothest British accent I have yet to hear. In that moment, I thought, “That’s it. I’ve peaked…”

There are a lot of ways to reach me. I discovered that, when there was a sea of reporters using each and every one of them all at once. My Etsy inbox. Facebook and Instagram inboxes both for my business and for the Etsy Strike project. The chat system, and message system on Reddit. The mod message system for our subreddit. The contact form attached to our petition. The contact form on my business website. Our Discord server. Private messages on Discord. The email I set up for media interviews and linked on etsystrike.org. My cellphone, eventually. One time a reporter called my husband looking for me. We still have no idea how that happened!

Every day during the strike, evening would come, and the Etsy Strike organizers would take a collective breath. Maybe the media frenzy would die down now. The following day we would think it had, until it started back up again late morning.

I really do love appearing on media interviews. By the end of the strike on 4/18, I wanted to turn into a turtle and hide in a shell for a very long time.

I couldn’t do that though. 82 thousand people had signed up for our cause, and the strike was done, but we weren’t done.

The strike was only the beginning.

This post is part of a series telling the story behind the 2022 Etsy Strike. Click here to start at the beginning.

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