Categorized | Communications, Marketing

Garlic Bread and the Time To Get Equal…

garlic_bread

Scope has created a video highlighting the barriers disabled people face in accessing London locations…

Produced by Enable, the film is part of the charity’s Time to Get Equal Week this week – or later this week anyway…

At the time of writing (Wednesday 6pm) there are several press releases posted, including this on Brand Republic claiming “it will be posted on YouTube, Facebook and MySpace and Twitter (sic) to encourage people to sign up to its pledge to raise awareness about the importance of access for disabled people.”

The press release goes on to say that the film:

“documents a lunchtime blitz in which disabled volunteers visited a host of London destinations, such as parks, shops, restaurants and Tube stations to check how accessible they were. Locations that proved out of bounds or offering poor service to disabled people will be ‘tagged’ to highlight the problem. Similarly, good practice was rewarded with a tag.”

There was also another release from Marketing Magazine that followed the same lines, but neither had a link.

It seems a shame that none of these press releases I saw had a preview or more information about how or when to view the actual video. It sounds a very powerful and compelling piece of awareness, but I really wanted to see it and possibly forward to a few friends, and not least post about it on here… but for some reason there was only a brief description. I did chase a few Scope people I know on Twitter, and one kindly came back to me this morning with the promise of a link tomorrow – 3 days after the press release.

Now maybe the video wasn’t ready but press releases like the Scope one, that show-off the agency but serve no benefit to the actual campaign, waste the precious attention window necessary to get peer to peer recommendations.

A launch strategy is essential to avoid this sort of activity undermining the credibility of your campaign, so don’t waste those eyeballs and in this case the lack of a link to the video renders press release worthless, and wastes a great opportunity to grab audience attention. At the very least make it a teaser with a promise of more to come.

Perhaps we’re all becoming impatient – falling into the realms of the Veruca Salt world of “I want it now!” – but it is disappointing that after even after searching YouTube, MySpace and Facebook we could only find outdated pages with links to events from last year and worst of all, dead links.

That said (after more digging on the Scope site) we found their really great Flickr stream – now this would have been brilliant as a teaser! People could  follow, link and even be encouraged to return to see more – perhaps a before and after – so the campaign has a longer (and relevant) tail.

I don’t wish to sound overly negative, as this seems to be a common occurrence where the various pr and communication teams don’t coordinate but the problem with social media is that if you start blogs and social media pages – they need updating.

A marketing mix should be just that; a well planned dining experience with a starter, main and if it’s going well, desert, coffee and cheese… All too often “social media” is seen as an extra – a side order – the digital equivalent of garlic bread (a taste of the future) perhaps… But all too often little consideration is given to the on-going maintenance of the various platforms – and I know it’s a question of resources, but why not offer it out to the community that your aiming to engage or, ahem, be social with. More often than not you’ll find them more than willing to help out.

There’s nothing to lose, except perhaps momentum.

I should add that the aims behind the Scope video – which I am sure will be great – is to ensure that disabled people realise their full civil liberties and human rights. As promised – (as per below) here is the link.

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Alexandra O'Dwyer - Director of Communications & Marketing, Scope Says:

    Thanks for these really interesting points and you are absolutely right that joined up communications becomes all the more important when one is operating in the real-time environment of social media.

    We are really pleased that you are so keen to see our “London Gets Equal” film which we have been tweeting, “phlogging” and posting about all week, in anticipation of its release.

    You will be pleased to know that it is now available to view on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/scope4equality and will be seeded through a range of social networks over the next 24 hours.

    The press release you mention was a pre-filming release sent only to Marketing magazine (Marketing and Brand Republic seem to share content) by the agency working with our digital partners, Enable Interactive, focusing on the creation of the video on Monday, rather than its launch which has always been planned for the end of this week.

    Our main PR activity is happening from this evening and our aspiration was that by mentioning that the video was “coming” through our social networks we would generate some interest in it, prior to launch. Your thought-provoking article has shown we have had some success in that already!

    Your suggestion around promoting our Flickr photos is a really good one and we have been doing this already via Twitter, Facebook and numerous links on our own website.

    Scope is working really hard to put digital platforms at the heart of our marketing mix and this year’s Time to Get Equal Week is the first time we have really tried to engage our social networks in this way. We are delighted with the results so far and we are extremely proud of our film which we hope will drive many more people to sign our pledge in support of disabled people’s equality.

    Thank you for your interest in our work and, once again, for your useful observations.

    Alexandra O’Dwyer
    Director of Communications and Marketing, Scope

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