Catwalking into social media

A post today on the web that kind of emphasises one of the points made yesterday at Online Marketing and Media 08. Shiny Media’s fashion blog team – Catwalk Queen – appeared on the Panorama programme about Primark and they’re a bit miffed they didn’t get a credit when other businesses did – the bloggers weren’t even credited as such [1].

In the pre-social media days, if somebody didn’t like how they’d been portrayed in the media then they could complain and that was it [2]. Now there’s blogging, and conversation and that conversation feeds into Google rankings and searches and, perhaps while not necessarily a big issue (in the whole grand scheme of things) is another complaint about the Beeb that will end up washing around the net. It also increases the them-us divide that can exist in places between journalists and bloggers (even if CQ is pretty much damn nearly journalism anyway).

There’s also a potential downside for journalists if the Shiny Media bloggers decided they weren’t going to accept any requests from the BBC as that’s a good contact lost. And a source of potential publicity for Shiny gone as well (this is a hypothetical situation, I’d like to point out. But I’ve seen similar situations with other companies in the past). Nobody really wins.

But one of the joys about social media is the conversation is a two-way thing. We’ve seen some companies, like Comcast dealing with Techcrunch on Twitter, who react to criticism on the web, and engaging on the post would be an interesting way of starting to turn the conversation from a no-win to a more satisfactory resolution. Of course, it’s a brave soul who’d enter a conversation where they could get a hammering.

Now, obviously there are ins and outs I don’t know of here but if they were invited to contribute as bloggers then they should have been labelled as such. Ok, CQ would have been hoping for some free publicity [3], but it’s not as if they were flogging their own product. If I was invited on a football discussion show, I’d want to be credited as a blogger/writer rather than a ‘fan’.

[1] I watched the programme and I don’t remember them. Had they been credited as bloggers, I would have probably remembered them.

[2] And you’d be surprised how many people I’ve met over the years who says they’re not speaking to another journalist after a bad experience. It makes you wonder.

[3] Although perhaps not so free, given that their business is the blog so the cost could be worked out.

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