Pinned under the duvet; smothered with decongestant, comforted by the warm embrace of Night Nurse; I’ve suffered a rather tedious week. Although I’ve been struck down by a particularly nasty, industrial strength man flu virus, I’ve had sometime, to catch up on a couple of interesting talking points.
Firstly the Ad Contrarium is an important weekly blog to devour. An insightful view of the issues gripping ad-land. Never a blogger to complain about splinters in his derriere, The Ad Contrarium always succeeds in digging deep; manoeuvring past fleeting flimflam, jargon, trends, false goals of contemporary Adland. Weekly he touches a nerve.
The current post, on the subject of social media, hits the nail on the head. Referencing the Trump phenomenon on Twitter, he underlines the that major social media successes and obsessions are mostly one-offs, all very difficult to replicate. He goes further to point out: “Social media phenomena were supposed to change everything and changed absolutely nothing.”
I concur, the issue is more fundamental. The top-end of what you can expect from all but the really big twitterstorms are probably around events already making lots of noise and probably because it features in mainstream media.
Whilst comms folk bleat on about the fleeting trends in the marketing mix (to project relevancy), few focus on ‘the Now’. Spending time thinking about a mix of old and new media does not seem to gather traction.
We gain more notoriety blathering on about the future and miss the importance of the moment. True – we do exist in the age of disruption. Yet one of the sharpest paradoxes for businesses is that, their brightest futures hinge on the ability to pay attention to the present and decode its value. Every time I hear one of the communication hipsters issue forth about another data analytic tool or discuss the next big coming thing and I feel a ripple of anxiety about the future – then I take a breath.
Business unfolds in the present. But so often, we let ‘the Now’ slip away, allowing opportunities to dissipate, because they might not feel future relevant. The unobserved and unseized are squandering precious ideas which can turbo charge a campaign.
A lot of growth in my business has been driven by improvements in how we approach the creation and promotion of client stories. Planning and strategy is vital. Time to think and build client confidence in our practice to understand the value of original ideas, not marketing plans built by a media buying unit. Truth is, it has always been about actually using a hard-fought network to get the right stories to the real influencers with purchase to spread the word.
I am not trying to promote an image rooted in thinking of the past. I like mentoring young people. I like pledging some time to worthy causes or young peoples’ start-ups or just great ideas begging to see the light of day. I don’t like the sneering tone about the new establishment, there are better ways of being different. If you don’t know the rules, you can’t win the game.
Borkowski is a brand with a conscience that understands (cliché alert) the modern media world and how fast change is – and will continue to be.
Great stories (creativity), real contacts and tech-knowledge is what we have always tried to grip. It is only through bitter experience that we know the 24/7 nature of providing high-value services and outcomes not outputs – are the only steps to sustaining a business.
Another highlight this week was the Dublin hotel owner who banned social media influencers after a YouTuber asked for a free stay. Paul Stenson, the owner of The White Moose Cafe, imposed the blanket ban after YouTuber Elle Darby broke down in tears after he bluntly rejected her request and posted his emailed response online. But far from damaging his business as many in the blogging community had predicted – he was actually inundated with messages of support.
As an Entertainment publicist – I loved – and still love – drumming up free publicity. Making news, rather than commenting on it. This is the active creative campaigner’s route to gaining public recognition for a brand. It is about claiming attention, capturing column inches, and making news. It’s about setting up situations which are so intriguing, so bizarre, so peculiar and so appealing that they are irresistible to the press. It’s about creating narratives which tell those stories directly, or which lead readers straight to the copy to satisfy their curiosity. It’s about entertainment.
The way the Dublin Hotel took full advantage out of this lame blogger and her Poundland loving followers was magical entertainment. Instead of ignoring the request, he seized on the opportunity, taking full advantage. The not so silly Youtuber benefited too; both enjoyed the kerfuffle, both profited in terms of numbers and exposure.
As we all know the old maxim holds true; all publicity is good publicity.