Tag Archives: religion

Secret Cinema drove at 88mph… and stalled

24 Jul

Thousands of angry Back to the Future fans took to social media to express their frustration at the late cancellation of Secret Cinema‘s launch event this evening – and who can blame them?

It’s a serious PR fail which was always going to end badly. Yes, the organisers have said sorry and used social media to disseminate the message to attendees quickly. But, unlike Sainsbury’s, Coca-Cola and Costco (brands which made epic mistakes but used social media to their advantage to make amends), Secret Cinema just let the cat drop out of the bag.

Here’s how:

What’s your problem?
Secret Cinema apologised, but I think it should’ve given a little more information away as to why so many people’s nights were ruined.

*Technical difficulties?
*Health and safety issues?
*Missing DeLorean?

My point is if you’re not transparent about why you’re making these decisions, then people will just start speculating. And that speculation will be plastered across Twitter and Facebook. Oh, and in this case, the national news.

There’s no nice way to say this, but…
Secret Cinema’s news broke on social media and, after just a few moments, went viral. Although, I’m still questioning why 26 people opted to ‘like’ the Facebook post.

What I also don’t understand is why the organisers ran the risk of involving its 201,000 fans in an issue that only affected a small percentage?

Ok, I may be contradicting my point about transparency. But, in the first instance, if it affected me (and they’ve got a week to sort themselves out before I get down there) I would’ve appreciated a personalised e-newsletter or text message breaking the news, rather than running the risk of finding out through my friends.

Ok, if negative press is going to get out, a brand can do little to stop it. But, this could’ve ring-fenced the problem for a short while – if Secret Cinema had the resources to pop down contact details encouraging people to call them with questions (rather than posting on social media.)

Actions speak louder than words
One thing’s for sure, Secret Cinema cannot afford for this problem to continue looming this time tomorrow. With a second round of ticket holders already panicking that they might not even make it to Hill Valley, my recommendation would be for organisers to shift from apologies to olive branches and start making amends sooner rather than later.

I was always expecting big things, but I’m expecting professionalism from Secret Cinema more than ever now.

Watch this space.

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Ad slogan ‘Christians make better lovers’ causes underground frenzy

10 Jan

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Take a seat eHarmony, Match.com and Uniform Dating, there’s a new matchmaker in town, Christian Connection, and it’s wasted no time in making itself known in 2014.

The religious dating website may have been around since the millennium but outside of Christian circles, we can assume it’s not had much attention recently.

Launching across the London Underground, it plastered platforms with fun, vibrant slogans such as: ‘Another dating agency? Thank God!’, ‘God knew you would see this’ and ‘Christians make better lovers’ – and it’s certainly got a reaction.

Not only has it featured in The Telegraph, Huffington Post and Christian Today (so cliche) but Twitter is all a flutter with the advertising campaign too. It’s a great PR story in itself! I can’t say I’m surprised – it’s brilliant.

Created by Chas Bayfield, creative director at integrated agency Noah, he’s done what Christians everywhere have been waiting for – a fun, cheeky campaign which says ‘we can take a joke too’.

Of course we know that the term ‘lovers’ has connotations with sex, but hey we don’t have to take it too seriously because we know how to read between the lines and take it to another level. Needless to say Chas has done a great job on this because it instantly invites others – of all faiths – to have a laugh before actually thinking a bit harder about what they want in a partner.

And why has he done such a good job? It’s because Chas isn’t guessing or portraying what he thinks will work well. He’s heavily involved in Cricklewood Baptist Church in London. To me, that’s exciting and very inspiring, and will hopefully encourage more Christian businesses to partner with agencies that know their stuff and won’t shy away from the issue in hand. I know it’s something I aspire to do more of.

It just goes to show that if you have a brave client who has faith in their agency, and both believe in something far bigger than the campaign itself, then it’s definitely going places.

It’s early doors but this could definitely be a contender for the Prime Time Awards in the ‘Worth every penny category’.

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Costco begs for forgiveness after being caught out on Twitter

25 Nov

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I’m normally an advocate for social media silence, but national retailer Costco was quick to repent for its sins with a statement – after the brand was caught out last week.

To put it into context, a Californian pastor noticed that a stack of Bibles were labelled as fiction in one of its stores. Now, you might not believe that this book contains the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but there’s no need for the brand to potentially offend the 246m Christians in the US.

So how did Costco respond after the pastor blasted the company on Twitter? With a watertight crisis management statement that followed the classic ‘get out of jail’ formula:

The formula
Shift blame + Take blame + Olive branch solution = Peace is restored

What Costco said
Costco’s distributor mislabelled a small percentage of the Bibles. However, we take responsibility and should have caught the mistake. We are correcting this with them for future distribution. In addition, we are immediately relabelling all mislabelled Bibles. We greatly apologise for this error.

By the time this was issued it was too little too late. Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach’s tweet had already shocked his congregation, who questioned if Costco was guilty of religious discrimination. And 1,466 followers, 253 retweets, 88 favourites and a flurry of national news stories later, it got so out of hand the pastor had to calm his flock down by claiming he wasn’t angry, just interested.

The one thing Costco didn’t do was use its social media channels to defend itself. Perhaps it was trying to bury bad news or take the approach that what its customers don’t know won’t hurt them (or the business). But failing to maximise its 1m reach on Facebook seems strange, especially when its Twitter pages are such a mess.

Well, at least Caleb has a pinch of inspiration for his next sermon and has successfully engaged with his audience. But the moral of this story is that if you’re truly sorry for your actions, God will forgive your mistakes.

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