Can you keep a secret? It seems that Black Sabbath fans can’t…

sabbath-2-50(Before we go any further, let it be said that I am a big Sabbath fan, and this is more of a post about the capabilities of Social Media than about the band or their fans.)

On Friday 4th July, Black Sabbath will play Hyde Park with their British Summer Time Black Sabbath Time gig.

Tickets cost from around £69 (what happened to the days when I could go and see them for a mere tenner? Am I THAT old?)

However, in a deal with the event organisers, employees of that company could buy tickets for a massively discounted £2.50. Everyone was told, undr pain of death, that the link for the £2.50 tickets was to be kept private and not given to anyone outside of the organisation.

It’s 2014, Social Media is more popular than ever – can you guess what happened next?

Of course, the link was leaked.

Twitter went mad:

 

 

Facebook, Reddit, Google+ and other social networks followed suit. Before long the link had been forwarded thousands of times and thousands of fans were snapping up those £2.50 tickets. And who can blame them? A fiver for a couple to see Sabbath. Faith No More, Soundgarden, Motorhead and more heavy metal legends?

Some wondered whether it was legit, but most people were happy to possibly lose £5 against the chance of a great offer.

How did Hyde Park events react?

To my mind, in the best way they could – they agreed to honour the orders. A post on their Facebook page states:

Hi All, A staff ticket offer was leaked earlier today and some members of the general public were able to purchase reduced price tickets to certain Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park concerts. That offer has now been stopped.

“If you were lucky enough to purchase a ticket from this offer rest assured that your ticket remains valid.”

 What a brilliant response! Had they refused to honour the tickets, social media would have gone into overdrive, slating them and spreading the word.
By agreeing to sell the tickets at the price on the link they’ve gained respect and loyalty, and people are tweeting and posting positive things. Look out for when the tickets actually start arriving – I bet Hyde Park hashtags will be trending in no time.
They’ve turned a possible PR disaster into a PR win – kudos to them!

Where did it go wrong?

Well, let’s face it, in this day and age, a publicly accessible link such as that was not going to stay a secret for long, was it?

It only takes one employee to send the link to a friend, and before long it has snowballed exponentially. From one little tweet, millions of people can be reached through retweets and posts on other social networks.

I’m shocked that Hyde Park didn’t at the very least password protect the link – it wouldn’t have been bomb proof, but it would probably have saved them a few thousand pounds (although let’s not feel too sorry for them, I’m sure they’ll still make millions from merchandise, drinks / food and usual price tickets, plus of course sponsorship so they’re not going to feel this too badly.)

It seems to me that someone or some people just didn’t think – or of course, this could be a very clever PR ploy to gain positive PR 😉

What can we learn from it?

A number of things:

  • If you don’t want it shared, don’t make it publicly accessible – protect it or put it on a company intranet.
  • You can’t control Social Media – once it’s out there you’ve lost control of it.
  • How you react can be the difference between positive and negative feedback – reputation management is key.
  • Your author was offline in meetings that day and missed out on her £2.50 tickets – RATS! 😉

Did you get cheap tickets? Let us know when they arrive in the comments below!

PR – the art and science of manipulating the media?

Public relations, the dark art of spin, snake charming – call it what you like, it has traditionally been seen as the art and science of manipulating the media – or perhaps inspiring them. Either way it was all about grabbing the headlines and dominating the airwaves and more recently cyberspace.

However high profile PR was, make no mistake it was the glamorous servant of the marketing department… But the internet has changed everything and the rules are now very, very different.

The advent of social media now means you can engage directly with clients and prospects and no longer have to rely upon the headlines to reach an audience. Indeed the converse it true, that audience no longer relies on the traditional media for news or to make known if they are unhappy with a service.

In a nutshell, now everything is PR – every interaction with the public, online or offline has the potential to impact on your image, so it is all now public relations!

This new 30 Day PR Challenge will help you through the minefield of PR and aid you in getting the exposure your company deserves!

Written by Nigel Morgan @nigel_morgan of Morgan PR, it’s an essential challenge for any business.

Prebuy your copy today for just £4 – tomorrow it will double in price!

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Could you be the PR person we're looking for?

magglassAt NikkiPilkington.com, we’re growing all the time, and we’ve had a fantastic 2009 so far. But, like any ambitious person, I want more 🙂

I’m looking for a freelance PR person or small PR company to help to spread the word about the services we provide, the results we achieve and the good we can do.

What I DO want:

  • someone who can write press releases, and will only do so when there’s a story / angle, no matter what I think 🙂
  • someone with good relationships with journalists who will write good things about the Internet Marketing industry
  • someone who can get me interviews with relevant publications, on and offline
  • someone who can ensure that when an ‘Internet Marketing Expert’ is quote, that ‘expert’ is me
  • someone who can be as passionate about the NikkiPilkington.com name as I am, and spot opportunities I may not see

What I don’t want:

  • press releases that have no angle or story
  • online press release submissions with no follow up / reasoning
  • someone to send out random spam emails to publications on my behalf

A few things to consider:

  • I live my life by email and instant message, so you need to communicate with me in this way – I’m not a phone person 🙂
  • I don’t want to have to chase you up for every little thing, I need to know what is going on at all times
  • I’m not buying purely on price 🙂
  • I don’t care if you’ve not worked for a company similar to mine before, I do care that you show that you understand what I want and can tell me how you’re going to achieve it
  • I want an open and honest billing structure, with details of what I’ll get for my money, and how you intend to report those things back to me

If you think you’d like to be a part of this ‘project’ (which I am sure will change and become bigger as we get to know eachother more), and can bring a few ideas of your own to the table then please feel free to drop me a line to nikkipilk@gmail.com. (And of course, please email me if you have any questions)

BE AWARE: I will not take phone calls on this matter – whether to ask initial questions, or to follow up proposals. Everyone who submits a proposal will get a reply and will be considered. It’s up to you how detailed or short you make your proposal; just make it stand out!

Also please know that this process could take a couple of weeks due to other things going on in my life right now – I won’t be making an instant decision, but neither will I waste anyone’s time.

EDITED TO ADD:

This page has had a fair bit of interest, and a few responses – I just want to clarify a few things:

  • When I said no phone calls, I really did mean it ….
  • That includes emails saying ‘give me a call today and we’ll chat’
  • If you want to come and ‘see me in my office’ you haven’t done your research 🙂
  • Those telling me that they can help ‘get my name out on the internet’ – you haven’t done yours either 😉
  • I’m not looking for SEO or Social Media help (sensing a theme here?)
  • If you’ve sent me a price, and not asked any question or shown that you know anything about me, then I’m probably not going to be interested
  • Much as I appreciate barter offers, I want to pay someone cold hard cash for this, so there are no grey areas. If you wnt to return that cash to me for my services, that’s up to you!

I’m not asking for all your ideas, which I will then steal and take to the lowest bidder, I’m asking for someone who can show that they know who I am, what I want, and can come up with some thoughts of their own.

I’m easy to find out about – even my mum knows what I’m up to through the powers of Facebook, Google and Twitter!

Why aren't you getting media coverage?

So you’ve got a great news sory / product / service / item of interst / all of the aforementioned, and you’ve written your press release.

You’ve submitted to the list of free press release sites you downloaded from NikkiPilkington.com.

You’ve found a list of PR people and emailed your release to them.

But you’re still not being covered.

Want to know why?

My guess is it’s one of the reasons on Kickstart’s list of Reasons You’re Not Getting Media Coverage.

People come to us for online press release submissions quite alot, and more often than not we turn them away for one of those reasons. Read, then think about how YOUR press release can stand out in the crowd.

List of free press release sites

One of the more frequent questions we get asked here at NikkiPilkington.com is ‘Where can we submit our press releases for free?’

Usually we tell people to ‘Google’ for free press release sites, but it always makes us feel a bit mean, so the lovely Leigh has put together a list of free sites for you!

You can download the Free Press Release Sites PDF here

Bonus Tip – SEO your PRs!

When was the last time you issued a press release about your site?

New client? New product? Something newsworthy?

Then get a press release out there! But (and this is the point of this post) make sure you optimise the press release for your key phrases.

Include them in the title, and in the copy, and if you’re putting the press release online, then include them in the title and keyword tags.

–oOo–

Don’t want to do this yourself? We’ve two newish services you might be interested in:

1) Press release writing – An introductory offer of just £60 for a 1000 word release, email us for more details

2) Press release optimisation (one page, 3 keyphrases) – A one off fee of just £50 0 again, email for details

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