How Far Can We Go to Build Buzz?

By Daniel Scocco

Last week the UK press was in a buzz around a 104 year old woman who was using Twitter. This is obviously a world record, and it says a lot about the penetration of the 140-character messaging service. But was it real?

According to TechCrunch, it was not. In a post titled The REAL story behind the 104-Year-Old who joined Twitter they explain that the old lady had joining Twitter just one day before, and that she was convinced to do so by a company called The Geek Squad. Here is a quote from the article:

What none of these (UK Press) stories told you, however, was that poor old Ivy had not joined Twitter just because it was suddenly the talk of the old peoples home. No. She joined because home PC maintenance company Geek Squad signed her up, propped her up for a photo opportunity and press-released the hell out of it. And frankly I hope they paid her, or at least donated to her favourite charity because this is one of the most self-serving, cynical PR stunts I can remember.

Personally I am not a fan of faking things to get traffic and buzz (well, except on April 1st…). I believe it just adds noise on the web, and it forces people to compete on a lower level (i.e. resorting to anything to get attention).

But what about you, do you think it is a fair strategy to setup something like this and use it to generate buzz for your company or website?



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34 Responses to “How Far Can We Go to Build Buzz?”

  • hikaye

    I’m not suprised a company would do this, neither am I surprised the UK press lapped it up without checking. I can understand the reasoning behind it in terms of marketing, but now they’ve been found out they’ll be the boy who cried wolf, so to speak. I would agree there’s no such thing as bad publicity… unless you use a volnerable person in this kind of way!

  • Medyum

    I’m not suprised a company would do this, neither am I surprised the UK press lapped it up without checking. I can understand the reasoning behind it in terms of marketing, but now they’ve been found out they’ll be the boy who cried wolf, so to speak. I would agree there’s no such thing as bad publicity… unless you use a volnerable person in this kind of way!

  • bebek oyunları

    Faking thing to get buzz or traffic is miserable. Yes, honesty is expensive. How much can you afford?

  • Jason aka Beltwayboy

    It’s all about ratings these days, watch the news casts. To be honest I am new to blogging and thought about something like that, but decided not to do it because that is not how I am or want to be thought of. I want to be taken seriously and not as a clown or liar. A perfect example was the Swine Flu, one evening the news channel reported there was something like 34 reported cases. The next evening before the news came on the same channel ran a promo about it reaching epidemic proportions, so when it came to the report it was like 4 or 5 more reported cases. Nothing worse than B.S. Hype !

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