Tag Archives: interview

The Academy tweets the perfect tribute to Robin Williams

12 Aug

When I woke up this morning I had a #WhileYouWereSleeping hashtag moment after reading that Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams has died at the age of 63.

As the world’s media look for people who ‘knew him well’ for sofa interviews, finalise their obituaries and monitor celebrity tributes, there’s just one thing I’m interested in today: The Academy.

Eight hours ago it tweeted the words ‘Genie, you’re free‘ to 768,000 followers (and counting), in reference to Williams’ role as the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin – and it’s already been re-tweeted more than 196,000 times and favourited by over 130,000.

Throughout Williams’ 35-year career, he was nominated for four Oscars but was always the bridesmaid and never the bride until he teamed up with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck for Good Will Hunting in 1997 – five years after Aladdin. So, why did it tweet the Genie?

Jumanji, Patch Adams and Hook aside, this was Williams’ iconic role, albeit animated, because he didn’t even have to act. The Genie is Williams – the role was designed for him, not the other way around. And the fact that the film sold well over 25m copies worldwide upon its release is testament to this.

So, now that’s settled, why else was the tweet so successful (apart from being picked up by online superpower Buzzfeed)?

1) Thought leadership

The Oscars are at the top of the food chain when it comes to the movies. The honours are respected, so if The Academy is tweeting to a large audience, everyone takes notice.

2) A picture says a lot of words

The Academy used a striking and emotive image of the Genie with Aladdin. It didn’t feel the need to crop, zoom in or filter. It opted for simplicity and it’s paid off.

3) Straight to the point The simplicity of the image was also reflected in the wording, which captured the essence of Williams without the need for hashtags, weblinks or self-promotion – maintaining The Academy’s classy reputation. So, not only is this the perfect tribute, but also the perfect PR balance.

What do you think of the tribute tweet?

The Academy tweets the perfect tribute to Robin Williams

The Academy tweets the perfect tribute to Robin Williams

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Rightmove bids on Apprentice star

18 Jul

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Leah Totton may have won the ‘The Apprentice‘ last night after Lord Sugar decided to back her beauty business, but that’s not the story. It’s Neil Clough, who was in the final five, that’s clocked a big opportunity.

He was told repeatedly during his televised interview that his DIY estate agency website would fail. Why? Because he was asking for estate agents to advertise on a site where they weren’t needed by readers. Lord Sugar, quite rightly, didn’t like it one bit.

But, in a PR twist for the books, national estate agency website Rightmove is arranging an interview for Neil to find out if he’s ironed out the creases in his business plan.

Whether it’a successful or not, it’s a brilliant example of proactive PR by Rightmove. The business saw an opportunity and acted on it – creating an interesting story that’s gaining traction on websites such as The Sun and Digital Spy.

Brands get one chance to make an impression and this opportunity was first come first served. It could have easily been Zoopla or Prime Location that I’m praising. But it just goes to prove that the PR team that identifies, plans and delivers wins big every time. It’s rewarded in brand awareness, thought leadership and a juicy PR value.

Great work Rightmove. And keep Prime Time posted on how you get on Neil!

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The Drum misses a beat

28 May

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I was interested to read that marketing magazine The Drum is challenging itself to develop an upcoming issue in front of a live audience.

At first I was impressed by the editorial team which laid down its own gauntlet to discuss content and interview key spokespeople (such as Dom Burch, head of social media for Walmart, and Selina Webb, communications director for Universal Music) to put together one of its fortnightly magazines. I was even quite excited at the feeling of sniffing out a story with the professionals, but all of those feelings disappeared when I found out that I was going to be charged more than £200 for the privilege.

I know it’s a commercial event for the brand to grow and improve its offering, but that doesn’t stop me questioning how The Drum can ‘sell’ this opportunity. Especially when the challenge is lukewarm; it’s hardly down to the wire – with more than two weeks from the ‘live’ session until the magazine is on the shelf.

I feel that The Drum has dressed up an exciting concept for the publishing world in sheep’s clothing. An event like this has the potential to hold something special for attendees that online and digital wouldn’t offer – the traditional interviews, feature angles and front covers.

More than this, it’s the perfect chance for young budding PR, marketing and advertising bods to learn some industry nuggets – but at this rate they’re priced out. I think working with future media executives would’ve made a much better story, but as it stands I’m cynical as to how much decided on the day will actually be published.

What do you think – is this a unique idea or a commercial flaw?

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