Alice Stanes, PR assistant, Clarion Communications, part of the WPP Group
With the first hazy summer days in sight, festival season is well and truly on the horizon - and what better way to kick off our festival countdown than to embrace social media and join the conversation.
In the same way that festivals create communities of cider drinking, music loving, feet stomping festival junkies, social media land recreates this community in a vibrant and dynamic virtual space - driving ticket sales and propelling interest with obscene pace.
Facebook pages and Twitter feeds build identities which festival lovers can endorse wholeheartedly – we can swap stories and experiences, post tips and checklists, and countdown all together at the same time (‘only 341 more sleeps to go till GLASTOOOOOOO @Glastowatch’).
We can pin, re-pin; tweet, re-tweet; post, state, like, share - the rhythm of social media and the noise of conversation mimics the festival roar, the buzz, the pace, the excitement. Music festivals are massively hyper active, addictive, hugely seductive and exhausting - in the same way that social media is - making it the perfect tool for festival PR.
That said, do we need explicit festival PR in the face of social media? Can a festival identity rely on a constantly renewing stream of dialogue, generated initially by their most committed and dedicated festival followers? If we shout loudly and often enough, if we get excited (and when I say get excited I mean #GETEXCITED), do we still need festival PR/ PR strategy to generate this talkability?
Perhaps not. Either way, social media allows you to watch the clips, share your highlights, embrace true, unadulterated festival madness and transport yourself to magic land. Wherever you end up, the conversation need not steer further than chai tea and fancy dress, pop-up tents and sheeWees (and no, despite an avid love for all things festival, I have not yet been brave enough to use one).