The Awards season in full swing – UK Brit Awards 2014 take a Twitter hit

How one PR agency seriously abuses the value of PR

It’s the Award season – the Baftas, the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the Brits and the grand finale: the Oscars.

It’s all fair voting, so of course: the best film, best music group, best actor wins? Yes? History is not necessarily on the side of the winners……

Last week UK PR firm House, representing Mastercard and The Brit Awards, caused controversy after sending journalists a list of requests in return for their ticket to the awards.

One of the journalists e-mailed was diary editor, Tim Walker for the UK National Newspaper The Daily Telegraph. The email was then published in full on the UK’s Press Gazette’s website and included a request for promotional tweets from both journalist personal and publisher’s accounts, even going as far as ‘drafting’ tweets could be sent before and after the awards using their hashtag “#PricelessSuprises”. The hashtag did end up trending, but not for the reasons they would want, and actually just ended up helping people find their way to the Press Gazette story.

In a statement to Press Gazette, Tim Walker said “Going to the extent of drafting you a pro-forma Twitter message shows the extent to which Twitter is being polluted by all this sort of stuff.”

In response, Ginny Patton, managing director at House PR said “The role of the PR agency is to pursue all coverage opportunities on behalf of it’s clients. This includes providing accurate brand references from the outset, for use across all platforms.”

Really? I thought the value of the media was ‘third party endorsement’ – otherwise isn’t it something called advertising? Twitter users – watch out.

There has always been a fine line here but we’re glad the media stuck up for its rights, which is why we fight for an independent media. A group of boffins have come up with a way of developing a lie-detector for Twitter. Funded to the tune of £3.5 million from the European Union, according to The Times, researchers across the continent are collaborating on the system called Pheme, after a Greek mythological character renowned for spreading gossip, to create the verification software.

Could this change things out there for our celebs, tweeting away? It seems 41 out of 42 of the nominees at the Brit Awards were present on Twitter, and worldwide, seven out of 10 of the most followed Twitter accounts belong to musicians.

Twitter users really need to watch out!

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