I went out to do some flyers the other night, and during the lulls between the express train hordes I got to thinking about what I’ve learned over the years of promoting my school by handing out flyers.
Beyond the common sense questions of where to stand at the exit, how often to vary locations and the best time of day to hit the station, I was thinking more about deeper, philosophical questions (the lulls were pretty long!). For example, is flyering a sport?
There are certainly some physical techniques you can pick up to optimize the number of flyers handed out at any one time. Sometimes when I pick up two or three flyers at the same time, a deft flick with the fingers can spread the sheets out like a pack of cards, ensuring that I haven’t missed the chance to pass one on to an obliging commuter. Meanwhile when faced with a crowd approaching me from the exit, it takes a quick eye to gauge the speed of each person’s gait, and quick feet to respond accordingly – sometimes it reminds me of my distant school days when I used to play full-back on the rugby field. A nice trick I’ve picked up recently is something akin to a backward moondance which allows me to hand flyers out to two people who are walking abreast at roughly the same speed. Then there is the ultimate satisfaction, timing the hand movement perfectly so that someone on the run can pick up the flyer without breaking their stride.
That last example is especially satisfying I think because it requires some kind of reciprocal understanding, which brings up the next question: is flyering a form of communication?
I’ll answer that in the next posting, but since I wrote about flyers as a sport, I’ll finish by noting my PB: As part of a two-man team, in just 90 minutes we were able to hand out 2000 flyers. One for the record books.