In The Thicke of an Epic PR Fail

Blurred Lines singer Robin Thicke is no doubt feeling a little red faced this evening after a PR exercise hit the ground running… right into the thick of it.

Robin Thicke Image Source

Robin Thicke
Image Source

Thicke is already a very controversial celebrity thanks to his misogynistic lyrics,  racy videos, relationship with estranged wife Paula and frolicks on stage with Miley Cyrus.  He isn’t someone who you would struggle to poke fun at, God knows he’s already added enough fuel to the fire himself, so why on earth would his PR think that it would be a tremendous idea to agree to host a question and answer session with him on Twitter?!  Surely things like this are arranged at meetings?! Someone at Thicke HQ could anticipate the backlash coming before the excrement had even hit the fan?

Clearly not it would seem as users were asked to leave questions for Thicke using the hashtag #AskThicke on the VH1 Twitter Page.

Thickes never ending stream of twitter trolls were out in force and quickly caught onto a source of entertainment at the entertainers expense by going to town with insults regarding the star.  Some took the moral high ground by using the #AskThicke hashtag as a way of addressing their views on the way he treats women (if you haven’t heard Blurred Lines, then where have you been? Check it out above) whereas other Twitter users took the opportunity to ridicule him, either scenario yielded thousands upon thousands of tweets, the majority of which I found hilarious, and got the hashtag trending.  In essence, #AskThicke went viral for all the wrong reasons.

Needless to say, the buzz on Twitter today has had me literally ROFL-ing.  Here’s some of my favourites:

Pretty funny, even though I feel like a naughty school girl giggling in class…

VH1 are yet to respond or comment back to anything relating to #AskThicke on Twitter.  Perhaps they’re trying to keep quiet in the hope that the next viral sensation will take over soon or that their involvement will go relatively unnoticed, with the mocking criticism will remain on Thicke.  The focus really does seem to be on the singer and I haven’t really noted anyone commenting on VH1’s involvement, after all had they constructed the questions for their interview with Thicke themselves, rather than engaging with the public, which surely would have been a much smarter move for such a controversial singer, then they might not have ended up in the same situation.  Either way, the beautifully ugly reality of social media is that once you’ve got a story it can run and run so the Thicke Trolls may well be dining out on this one for many days to come.

I sincerely hope Robin Thicke’s single doesn’t climb higher in the charts after this. Instead, check out the top tweets using the #AskThicke hashtag. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving!

What is your take on #AskThicke?  Comedy gold or are you bored already?

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#NoMakeupSelfie Making Money, Changing Lives

When the Oxford Dictionaries named the ‘selfie’ as the word of 2013, I don’t think anyone could have predicted the effect the #selfie would have just a few months later.  Over the last few weeks, photos of my friends and family have been popping up all over my social media newsfeed, looking barefaced and fancy free, and it wasn’t long before a nomination to do the same came my way.

If I’m talking gibberish right now, then let me update you.

On the 18th March, women started posting photos of themselves on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram without make up with the hashtag #nomakeupselfie.  The aim was to raise money for cancer research as those posting selfies were encouraged to donate to Cancer Research UK and nominate their friends to do the same, which is clearly a much healthier and sensible choice than the ‘NekNomination’ trend that was doing the rounds just a short time before.

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Katy Stoddard posing for her #nomakeupselfie Image Source

The exact origin of the #nomakeupselfie is unknown and it certainly wasn’t started by the PR department for CRUK however they were quick to react to the craze by promoting it across their social networks and CRUK helped to make donating even easier by creating a text number that donations could be made to.

To date, the #nomakeupselfie has raised a staggering £8million.  Cancer Research UK are an independent charity that receive no government funding for their research so they rely on donations in order to carry out the good they do.  The money raised from the #nomakeupselfie will literally help to change lives.

But what made this campaign go viral?  How could it be so successful without a huge PR driving force behind it?

Undoubtedly the success of the campaign is down to its simplicity; simply take a snap, post it and text to donate.  The fact that it started organically helped too as the public were the driving force behind the campaign and recruited other advocates for the campaign, gaining some serious media coverage.  There’s no bells and whistles to be seen here; no fancy shock tactics (well, until you see your Aunty Maud without her usual rouge on), no HD short films and no cheesy, half-hearted celebrity endorsement.  Just regular people using social media to its effective best, from Josephine Bloggs in the street to Kym Marsh from Corrie.  Even men got involved by posting snaps of themselves wearing make up, genius!

Image Source

Daragh Ward wearing makeup, supporting #nomakeupselfie                                                             Image Source

When the photos started littering my Facebook timeline, I’ll openly admit, I questioned what on earth wearing no make up in a photo online had to do with raising money for a cancer charity.  About as much as men growing a moustache during ‘Movember’ does for prostate cancer, I figured.  Either way, awareness was spread, people were talking about it and money was, and is still, being raised.  The fact that the #nomakeupselfie got people thinking ‘Why? What is this about?’ in the first place shows its success and, never one to shy away from the camera, it wasn’t long before my own #nomakeupselfie was posted, my own friends nominated and most importantly, my donation made.

Cancer Research have said that they will be using the money raised to carry out 10 clinical trials which they wouldn’t have had enough money for, if it hadn’t been for all of the donations received thanks to the #nomakeupselfie.  I think that in itself speaks volumes and if we’re a step forward towards finding a cure for cancer then that is a great achievement, regardless of whether the campaign to raise the funds has anything to do directly with cancer or not.  Personally, if I thought it would help find a cure for this dreadful illness, I’d run the length of Old Trafford, mid game, naked, wearing glittery nipple tassels.

What do you think is the success behind the #nomakeupselfie?

Let me know in the comments if you took part in the #nomakeupselfie and if not, you can jump on the bandwagon by posting your own selfie and texting BEAT to 70099 to donate £3 and help to save lives.

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