In earlier times the Town Crier was the primary source of news and information. They would ring a bell to catch everyone’s attention, read their proclamation or announcement, and then post it in a common area for all to see. Do you see any similarities today?
Good question… who are the Town Criers of today’s world of media and technology? Obviously newspapers, radio, and television still play an important role when it comes to keeping many of us informed. Thanks to the internet though, other forms of media have emerged which are providing us with more personalized sources for information.
This morning I attended a breakfast meeting for a local Social Networking group. The primary topic (as always) was the role that social media is playing in today’s online marketing world. One of the groups that presented was an online marketing group with a case study about a product called GoGirl, a “female urination device that allows women to pee while standing up”.
Now, I don’t want you to become too distracted by the thought of this, but GoGirl was definitely a product that caught my attention. What I found so interesting about GoGirl wasn’t so much the product itself, but mostly the presentation which gave social media much of the credit for their success. As it turns out, I think they missed a far more important communication link that played a huge role in the initial success of their product. This missing link is comparable to the modern day version of a Town Crier.
The Town Crier in this case was a local television reporter (Esme Murphy), who after hearing about this product, sent a tweet, ”wow, didn’t know we needed it. what do you think?”. Well, needless-to-say, she has many followers in Twitter and apparently because of the response to this tweet, she decided to run a story about this product on local news.
Not long after the story ran, news about the GoGirl product spread and it was quickly picked up by the national media. Before long, the GoGirl marketing team was making appearances on nationally broadcast talk shows where they introduced this product to even more people. What great PR for a product!
So the question begs to be asked, was more attention brought to this product through Social Media? Or, was it the “Town Crier” (in this case the reporter) who was able to reach out to people via a more mainstream media outlet.
When information about GoGirl was first broadcast on television, it reached a much wider audience than Twitter. Intially Twitter was basically used to gauge interest for this product. But word about this product really reached a more mainstream audience via the Town Crier on television.
Do you know who your primary Town Criers are in today’s world? It’s an important consideration and one that should not be looked upon too lightly. It’s wise to spend time trying to find out who the Town Criers are for your specific market and audience. If you reach out to them, they could become an invaluable advocate for your product or service through their networking channels.