With a range of technology clients, MCC International is used to running long-term PR campaigns – so it was an exciting change of pace for us this week to get involved with Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) hopefuls, Latin-American and Standard Ballroom Dance partners Kai Widdrington and Natalia Jeved from Southampton. We have been working in conjunction with the BGT press office to manage the more localised press enquires about the pair (we have been organising press interviews with local radio stations Wave 105, BBC Radio Solent, Jack FM and Breeze FM) whilst they both appeared on ITV daytime TV stalwart This Morning. We’ve also overseen the pair’s Twitter profile, which has ballooned to 1,200 followers in less than a week since they appeared on the show last Saturday. The sheer coverage that has been generated for Kai and Natalia is quite breath-taking and a good reminder that if you get the press’ attention the PR it can generate is phenomenal, especially in such a short space of time. If it you want to follow Kai and Natalia’s progress you can do so; on their website at www.kaiandnatalia.com – it also contains links to video clips and details of their twitter feed.
From the perspective of PR, Twitter can be a superb tool. However, from a press point of view there is a debate raging as to whether it can always be trusted. The reliability of news spread on social networking sites such as Twitter was in the spotlight again this week after false reports that one of the tunnels on the London Tube had collapsed were trending on the website. The claim was later proven to be false, but not after news-hungry journalists had Tweeted and Re-tweeted the story, as reported in a blog on Hotwire. The debate of course is over the real pros and cons of reporting ‘news’ from Twitter sources. In the right circumstances Twitter can be an excellent source of information (at MCC International we keep a keen eye on relevant Tweeters) which is simple to update from pretty much any location with a mobile signal and is a great way to reach out to your chosen audience. But on the flipside it can be populated by information that doesn’t go through the normal factual checks which more traditional news channels tend to uphold. Unfortunately Twitter has become the 21st Century’s popular outlet for the rumours mill as much as a portal for genuine stories (as a run of fake celebrity death rumours has proven!) so it can take more skill to reliably separate fact from fiction.
This Monday was St George’s Day in England, but it was also the 30th Anniversary of the launch of the legendary ZX Spectrum home computer. To celebrate both of these Google.co.uk’s home page on the day featured an image of St George rendered as if it were displayed upon the 1980s computer, with its garish, yet limited array of colours and pixelated appearance (as covered in an article on The Independent’s website). For those of us that fondly remember our Spectrums (or alternatively Commodore or Amstrad computers) it’s a nice reminder of an age when having the flashiest graphics or most outstanding sound wasn’t the ‘be all or end all’ of entertainment. In hindsight you can appreciate the skill and talent that went into producing enjoyable, spare-time dominating games on hardware that would now be totally eclipsed by a bog-standard smartphone! Of course if you really hunger for a bit of retro computer action the Internet is littered with PC compatible emulator software and the games so you can recreate the experience for the (likely unimpressed) younger generation.