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Last week, in a deal that sounded too-good-to-be true, group-buying website Groupola was offering the new iPhone 4 for a mere £99, sim-free. Users had to simply register interest on the Groupola website, where they would then be emailed a link to buy the new must-have iPhone on Friday.
With such a tempting deal on offer, on Friday morning, the Groupola website faced major meltdown, and that's essentially what happened.
A Groupola spokesman said 5m unique users tried to access the site between 9am and 9.30am. That number seems incredibly far-fetched to us but obviously the website fell apart as a result of the demand.
With thousands (if not millions) of users unable to access the site, it's unsurprising that a wave of angry consumers took to social media channels to voice their outrage on Twitter and Facebook.
The process was mismanaged from start to finish, resulting in a PR fiasco for the company. So what could Groupola have done to avoid such an unmitigated disaster?
The Huffington Post, with its legion of unpaid contributors, has provided a controversial model for journalism and publishing in the digital age. Despite the controversy, it's hard to argue that the Huffington Post hasn't had some success with its model thus far.
The model has apparently worked well enough to interest stodgy old publishers to get in on the act. According to a tweet from Forbes editor David M. Ewalt, Forbes.com will soon see its own brand of the HuffPo model: standard journalistic fare supplemented with "a level 2 bottom of the pyramid: 1000s of outside contributors."
Are you stuck in a rut with your link building programme? I'm in a sharing mood today so I thought I'd lift the lid on a selection of creative link building tactics I’ve been having success with...
Press release distribution is something that we are consistently asked about on our training courses and PR and social media related events. A growing number of commercial news distribution services and free services offer different ways to boost press release and related content visibility to media, through search and social media.
So how can you tell which press release distribution services count? What is a social media news release? What are the opportunities and potential pitfalls for businesses and agencies disseminating their news in this way?
I asked Adam Parker from RealWire and Daryl Willcox from DWP Publishing, MDs of two of the UK's most successful news distribution services, to provide some clarity and explain how businesses should use news distribution as a successful part of their online communications and marketing strategy.
‘Building character’ always sounds painful, doesn’t it? It tends to mean wet camping trips or going on a French exchange at school.
In the world of online marketing, building character can be equally painful, but the benefits are far more tangible.
An overwhelming majority of reporters and editors now depend on social media sources when researching their stories, but they turn to PR for primary research and context.
Social media will be an enterprise-wide mainstay by 2011, but most marketers and PR people are still trying to wrap their heads around it all. And those that don't get up to speed could find themselves without a job.
The CMO Club, polls its members on a regular basis. Just before the end of 2009 they asked this question: What would you do differently in 2010? 64% said they'd increase their spend on social media and 72% of those who are not yet doing social media said it's on their list for this year.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is part of your public relations (PR), not just some geeky addition to your website.
When I’m discussing SEO with a new client, understanding their wider PR campaign is essential to my planning. So why do so many firms see SEO as some website add-on, rather than a developing, often creative enhancement of their PR work?
I think it’s because SEO execs tend to be technology fiends, while PR
staff tend to be arts graduates with a passion for creativity – there
doesn’t seem to be much middle ground.
Yet it’s essential that PR works closely with an SEO team to make sure both budgets are working as hard as they possibly can and complementing each others’ work.
I've previously talked about how social media marketing should be looked at from both an SEO and PR perspective, but here are a few key ways in which PR and SEO working together can enhance a company’s online presence dramatically.
Gary Vaynerchuk transformed online wine sales at his parents business through his passionate and entertaining wine videos online. The New Jersey based wine retailer took to the web in 2006, and since then his popular Web video series “Wine Library TV” has boosted both Gary's public profile and his parents' liquor store — from a $4 million annual business into a $45 million one.
His video blog attracts an average 80,000 viewers for daily tastings and commentary, and Gary has appeared on mainstream media outlets from Conan O'Brien to The Today Show. His unconventional approach to wine (he convinced O'Brien lick a rock and to get at some of the notes common in wine) has earned him a cult following.
This week, he released the first book in his ten-book deal with Harper Collins. "Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion" advises readers on how to turn their hobby — through enthusiasm, hard work and the power of the Internet — into a successful career. I caught up with Gary to chat about how he built his business on social media and why successful people who advise against working hard are lying.
After reading about the Brody PR fail I thought I’d compile a list of common issues experienced by journalists when dealing with PR people.
A good PR makes things easy for journalists. They coordinate things behind the scenes. They follow up promptly on requests for further information or interviews. The understand the subject matter and how the journalist / publication plays a part in communicating news to a wider audience. And they do not try to pull the wool of your eyes.
A bad PR can be ill-informed, demanding, haughty, deceptive, intrusive, and sometimes plain idiotic.
So if you work in PR and want to improve your game then try to avoid any of the following. Any of these things will harm your personal reputation, and damage the chances of gaining coverage for your client.
A new study released today from Wetpaint and the Altimeter Group confirms that deep engagement with consumers through social media channels correlates to better financial performance.
I was surprised to hear that one mommy blogging community (Momdot) has called for a PR blackout for a week in August.
"MomDot is challenging bloggers to participate for one week in August in a PR Blackout challenge where you do not blog ANY giveaways, ANY reviews, and Zero press releases. In fact, we don't want you to talk to PR at ALL that whole week. We want to see your blog naked, raw, and back to basics."