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February 11, 2013

The Talk’s the Same but the Game Has Changed. Or Has It?

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Beyonce is basically perfect. But after her fierce Super Bowl halftime show performance, the haters came out because, predictably, haters gonna hate.

Now if you’re as gorgeous, talented and confident as I imagine Beyonce is, there’s just no way you let some Internet trolls phase you. At least, as far as the public is concerned.

Beyonce at Super Bowl

Are you afraid of Beyonce the fierce? I’d rather steer clear of trolls.

So what in the world was her publicist thinking by asking Buzzfeed to remove unflattering pics of B mid-performance? As you’d expect, if you ask a site that thrives on mocking, well, anything, you’ll only get more mocking in return. Makes you wonder whose idea it was. Could a publicity company in this day and age commit such an obvious faux pas? When you consider this is the publicity company in question, the extent to which they fail at the Internet becomes clear.

The publicists at Schure Media better make time to read a few helpful guidelines, 3 rules about powerful trolls that every publicist must know, where they’ll learn that you:

1. Know your publications.
2. Don’t fight back; fight smart.
3. Ignore it.

What’s inexcusable for Schure Media is that these aren’t new rules. Any traditional school of publicity would recognize the need for being able to laugh at yourself and look cool and above it rather than risking a misstep with an grouchy hater.

On the other side of the same coin, there was the Super Bowl XLVII’s other star. Not the Ravens or the 49ers, but the TV advertisers!

Commercials have always existed to leave a lasting brand impression. Social media has given commercials extra staying power by tying into real-time social media. And there were many a Twitter URL and hashtag in the Super Bowl commercials. By the way, Twitter has been ordained preferred engagement channel for just this sort thing, as these major advertiser’s behavior suggests.

What the story of these two Super Bowl sideshows (Beyonce and TV ads) have in common is that one illustrates a lack of understanding of brand control online and the other is working within the biggest, loudest, most active public space in the history of the world, the Internet.

Old school publicists, get with the program. Learn the rules of the Web, and put up a basic website already. I can only assume Schure Media slipped onto Beyonce’s payroll during the Destiny’s Child era because how a company so lacking in Web fluency landed Beyonce as a client keeps me guessing. And business brands, you don’t have to be one of the big guys to do what they’re doing with social media on your own scale.

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