And like I was saying just the other day, there are PR companies that get it, and PR companies that haven't a freaking clue when it comes to The Rules of Social Media and online engagement. Witness the wondrous fiasco unfolding around Diner en Blanc - an event that owes its success to mad amount of coverage it gets on social platforms (I think they call this going viral?)
In case you're confused or the news hasn't caught up to you (via your facebook feed) yet, in sum: Diner en Blanc invited blogger Daniel (of Daniel's Food Diary) to the exclusive All White event, he blogged about some suggested foods with local flavour that he thought would fit in with the stringent criteria of the event. He had his post cleared by the PR company. He posted it. Organizers got upset as they felt it didn't fit with the theme of the evening (tauhuay is not high class enough though it does fit the colour scheme). Daniel asked to remove post (!??!?!?!!!) Daniel uninvited to event. Daniel posts about the whole exchange. KABOOM.
PR fiasco on unprecedented levels. Furor from the social media sphere. Someone is shitting their pants.
To make matters worse, the PR company then withdrew invitations to 10 other bloggers. Seriously guys? How did you think this would help at a time like this?
Moonberry (one of the uninvited bloggers) who had posted quite the lovely post about the event initially, is now organizing a Dîner en Noir. She says "It'll be in good fun and not snooty, and it'll make a statement - [these events should be] about food and the celebration of it. We'll all dress in black. It'll be invite-via-friends only."
Talk about giving the organizers the birdie.
Beyond the fact that I'm absolutely stunned by the force of social media in Singapore (a place where everything's regulated to the WAZOO, this is one aspect that the government can't touch), and how swiftly it moves (Daniel posted this yesterday!) What I find most interesting is this: when it comes to Singaporeans, you really shouldn't mess with what we call good food (remember last year's Keep Calm and Curry On?) It's akin to insulting our mothers or something.
Social media also seems to be the defender of our nation's cuisine.
But I do feel really sorry for the event organizers - as someone who has super stringent criteria while entertaining at home - I understand the frustration they must feel when all they were trying to do was recreate the magic of the original Parisian experience with Diner en Blanc in Singapore. Too bad their PR company completely bombed it for them.
But my final piece of advice? If you're in this industry, PLEASE GO PICK UP FAST COMPANY'S SEPTEMBER ISSUE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. In fact, I think I'll mail the PR company in question a copy. They really need a 101. In fact, they should probably consider hiring a Social Media consultant to help them navigate the beyond choppy waters they're in (Pat Law to the rescue? Or perhaps Ladyxtel?)