Collision Course – Take 2

I attended Damien Mulley’s Collision Course Event tonight at the Edelman offices (thanks Piaras). The  show kicked off with a talk from Emily Hughes about her hugely successful Wispa Fan Club page on Bebo. A slow start and pretty much no promotion ended with thousands of fans and was instrumental in actually persuading Cadbury’s to relaunch the Wispa brand. They were contacted by the Cadbury’s PR company (Murrays) to help relaunch the bar and also got a few Wispa bars into the bargain.

Emily was refreshingly open and somewhat in awe of what she had achieved.  She answered a bunch of questions afterwards. In short, she didn’t get paid, but was very happy with what she had achieved and it certainly helped with her post-graduate degree application.

Damien then had us divide into three groups, with each group containing bloggers and PR people. We then had three scenarios to work up a PR response for,

  • Get the Public to vote yes to the Lisbon Treaty
  • Get a team who is in dispute with the manager to get their message out
  • Help a major financial institution who’s CEO has had to resign for financial skulduggery

We all had 20 minutes to come up with a plan. Each team had one representative who them presented the plan.

The team I was on got the financial institution. We had worked through several high end blog/social network scenarios but were brought down to earth with a bump when one team member reminded us that the most effective way to deal with queries was a Locall number and a call centre. Chalk one up to the old school 🙂

The general consensus from all groups was,

  • Identify your audience(s)
  • Identify an effective channel to reach them (print media, social network, website, blog, call centre etc.)
  • Provide a way to collect feedback (both solicited and unsolicited)
  • Provide an internal clearing house to keep the message and feedback consistent

The finally issue we recognised is that unless the users can see that the dialog is having an effect they will see through a PR whitewash whether its done through the Irish Times or Facebook.

A very useful evening. Thanks Damien.

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