The JLC has always had excellent marketing, it is something I have admired as someone with a marketing/communications/PR background. Recently in addition to their already strong social media presence they have been making an additional push for engagement using social media.
Before the July 3rd Soundgarden Concert they had a huge giveaway of tickets on Social Media Day and a number of individuals, myself included, were offered a pair of amazing tickets to take in the concert that featured Coheed and Cambria and of course Soundgarden.
I think most of us on Twitter were shocked and amazed to see a venue do something like this. I mean I have won tickets before and know friends who have, but I have never seen a ticket giveaway on this scale before.
Talk about good PR! (PS – Unemployed (or Freelance) Marketing/Communications/PR/Social Media Gal right here if anyone is looking!)
It is said that word of mouth is one of the best tools in PR and this effort definitely capitalized on this, by using word of mouth 2.0, which is word of fingers!
JLC reached out to the wired demographic; the people who are online several hours a day tweeting, facebooking or blogging about anything and everything, and people who have arguably become a voice for the local online community.
By bringing people into the venue for free, the JLC earned some goodwill and created some positive buzz. The people who were invited in were definitely going to tell their friends and share the experience on Facebook, on Twitter or on a Blog. In this world of digital communications the number of people who this news could reach in a limited amount of time was exponentially higher than it would have been if the only tool had been word of mouth, instead of word of fingers.
Giving away the tickets was amazing, but the JLC hasn’t stopped there. They introduced the JLCReviewer for the July 12th Black Keys concert. The JLC asked people who wanted to be JLCReviewers to tweet them and for others to nominate people they think would do a great job. In the end four people were chosen to be JLCReviewers, Laura, Mike, Naomi and Amanda. By the sound of it they were provided with a number of goodies, including tickets to the Black Keys Concert, with opening act Cage the Elephant.
I think this is a fantastic idea! First, this is engagement at a whole new level. The JLC is facilitating an entirely new level of connection with the venue, the music, the performers and well the entire concert going experience. Next this is also a cost-effective way to grow their marketing department (good for them, bad for unemployed (“freelance” as I like to say) me!). The newspaper could write a review, and I’m sure they did, but I don’t think the LFPress is reaching as many people as it once did and if you’re like me you tend to take their reviews with a grain of salt. Also have you ever noticed that when a newspaper writes a review for a concert or a movie it often feels like the person writing the review is the totally wrong person to be writing it? (To me) it often feels like someone from the completely wrong demographic is writing the article,therefore creating a completely inaccessible perspective. We all know the JLC couldn’t write the review themselves because any review of theirs would be presumed to be biased in a favourable direction.
By using Twitter to recruit reviewers the JLC is finding people who are actually interested in the acts, who aren’t presumed to have a bias and who, in my opinion, offer a more accessible voice.
This to me is a shift away from Marketing towards Public Relations which, I think, is the way Marketing is evolving thanks to Social Media.
I am personally looking forward to seeing where the JLC goes with this. I think there is a lot of potential to further position the JLC as a top-notch venue not only provincially, but nationally and beyond.
*** I made a suggestion today on Twitter that the JLC could use the materials generated from the reviews to create art within the JLC. London is a very creative place, I think it would be interesting to see images and review quotes displayed throughout the JLC. I think using those materials as art would really make the JLC feel like a community, rather than a business.***