The “virally launched popstar” as a PR genre piece.

Remember Sandi Thom? She was the punk rocker with flowers in her hair who virally launched with some bedroom concerts via her home broadband that seemed able to support 30,000 instantaneous connections.Well, the soft viral launch myth was back with a bang on my Guardian app this morning.

Social media listening: dear brands, please stop rewarding me for being a grumpy git


I’m getting worried about social media listening strategies. Not in a paranoid, surveillance society way. I’m worried about social media listening strategies because corporations reward me every time I moan; whinges are the new currency, and companies are incentivising me to be grumpy.

Discounting spammers who @ me on twitter every time I mention Apple, iPad, or x-factor I’ve had three moments where I’ve had a corporate interaction as a result of social media listening and each one has come off the back of a moan.

  • When I moaned that Coffee Lounge’s wifi was unreliable and their coffee pretty poor, Urban Coffee Co tweeted me, luring me over with a free croissant.
  • When I tweeted a whinge that a Virgin Wines / uSwitch freebie case of wine I’d received was pretty poor, Naked Wines contacted me with an offer on a case of much better wine that was pretty hard to refuse.
  • When I fired off a 140 character rant about a shitty coffee in Pret, they @ replied me back asking for an address. On Friday I got a £5 gift card and a handwritten note of apology.

Digital Communications & Social Media

This may be of interest to some of my contacts and students. It’s a report on social media in PR and comms agencies, based on interviews with industry bods. I’ve only skim read it, so this is not an endorsement of the content or the methodology, but there seems to be some interesting points raised and if nothing else then, for me, it gives me an insight into how established industries are thinking about social media in terms of their existing business models

The report was written produced by Watson Helsby 

Digital Communications & Social Media – FINAL REPORT May 2010.pdf
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