Posts Tagged ‘Entertainment’

Thank Goodness for Public Relations

August 6, 2015

Hand to God

Even if you’re not a Broadway fan, there is some news that PR pros need to talk about.  If you haven’t heard, a desperate phone-out-of-battery audience member at a performance of the Broadway Play, Hand to God jumped on stage with his charger in hand.  The anxious theater goer was scanning the theater ready to plug his phone into a visible outlet. Before he could realize that the outlet was fake and simply a part of the set, security intervened and led him back to his seat as to not disrupt the rest of the audience.  Sounds like no big deal right? However, the entire incident only lasted seconds, but the reaction lasted weeks.

The audience member not only delayed the play and interrupted the entire performance, but he also added to the never-ending observation of how attached people are to their phones. Because of this, people were eager to tweet, post and share their opinion about society’s dependence on technology, causing a reaction from Hand to God’s publicity team.

As in any unexpected situation, the reactions go viral immediately- especially in a world where social media runs untamed. The need for thoughtful PR has increased as silly incidents like this one have become more frequent and more viral. The lesson for brands is that they can’t always control the incidents that will spark chatter on social media, but they can control their reactions- especially by using PR.

What’s more, it is exciting to see the story lines and headlines that can result from an unexpected situation. For example, this incident drew attention to the play’s craftsmanship of the set design (due to the realistic outlet). That discussion was a great way to lead to positive attention from the media.

With their own initiatives, the play’s publicity team were able to control the reactions that yielded the most results. They created a hashtag, #Chargergate, created their own video, and even forgave the audience member when he came forward and apologized on camera– right in front of the theater itself. They took advantage of this interruption, and turned it into a full-fledged PR campaign.  And to boot, the buzz encouraged people to ask how they could buy tickets to see the show!

As a PR Account Coordinator, it was interesting to me to watch this event unfold and watch the conversations in the media develop.  I believe that PR pros can make a reactive campaign that works by controlling the conversation on social media  and using the attention to reach overall marketing goals. I give Hand to God’s PR team a standing ovation- they did everything right, and used great responsive PR techniques to boost their brand.

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Digital Innovation is ‘Bruin’ in the NHL

April 5, 2012

If you missed the launch of the Boston Bruins Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) last week, it’s time to come out of hibernation. The Bruins Bear is back, topping his own fan etiquette campaign from last seasonwith his new series of shorts called, “The Bear and the Gang”. But this 1980’s style sitcom is just one of the many hilariously funny features showcased on the NHL.com “portal”, The Bruins DEN.

The Bruins DEN is the organization’s effort to consolidate their digital and social content under one umbrella. Through this network, fans can connect to the Bruins through many avenues of social media including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Fans can also upload their favorite Bruins fan photos via Instagram, view the “The Bear and the Gang”, and compete in the Bruins Fantasy Challenge, all from one centralized location. The most significant feature of the Bruins DEN is its new mobile app, which has been made available on the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.

While the Bruins DEN website provide an easily accessible venue for all things Bruins, the app does all that and more. Fans can view team stats, get updates on current games, and even purchase tickets on the fly. This initiative is truly innovative for professional sports teams, both providing valuable content for fans and also creating new, more effective opportunities for sponsors. “Our fans are on the receiving end of great content that is accessible through all of the digital channels that they use and is distributed in a streamlined, organized fashion,” says Amy Latimer, Bruins Senior VP of Marketing and Sales. “Our corporate partners now have the ability to reach more than 2.5 million unique Bruins fans per month while aligning their brand with compelling content in a manner that is fan friendly.”

In our humble opinion, this umbrella is a clear indication that the Bruins understand their audience. Sports teams don’t always have a specific following, where they can narrow down exactly who sits in the stands or watches on television. Most likely, team fans are all different ages, ethnicities, classes, and personalities. The Bruins seem to recognize that some of their fans prefer to just read stats, while others want to post photos of their friends all wearing Bruins gear in Montreal. Each of their fans prefers to connect to the brand/team in a different way, and fortunately the Bruins DEN is just a more accessible way to do so. Let’s see how many teams follow their lead and what success this will bring to sponsors, as well as the team. Perhaps the unified support will bring the black and gold another….. well let’s just wait and see!


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