When all else fails, take to Social Media
We have written before about the colossus that is X Factor. The newspapers love it – fights between the judges, pictures of contestants in extremes of emotion, controversy behind the scenes.
What the newspapers love most of all is that the X Factor drives visitors to their website and makes people buy their newspapers.
X Factor is backed by ITV, Syco and powerful PR companies. It can pretty much write its own agenda – and does – and it largely manages how and when the stories appear in the press. So what happens when a small charity disagrees with something about the show and cannot be heard in traditional media? Social Media comes into its own.
Rhythmix is a small charity from the south-east of England. Since 1999 they have been helping young children through music to develop their personal and social skills. During the 2011 XFactor bootcamp stages the programme put together a vocal group and called it Rhythmix. According to the charity:
“At the time of lodging that application X Factor and Simco were fully aware that “Rhythmix” was an existing trademarked name of a music charity that works with vulnerable young people.”
All the charity wanted was for the X Factor to change the name of the band away from Rhythmix.
Stories started to appear in the local press about the charity’s issues with the X Factor, and a campaign was started but didn’t appear to gain traction.
Until today. Rhythmix Charity posted a note on their Facebook page, asking people to share their side of the story. They tweeted a link to the note which was shared around twitter.
Running a Social Media Campaign
Then they systematically @mentioned the link to news agencies, prominent people and influencers on twitter and to X Factor twitter fan pages. The story was picked up by a Music Media agency and highlighted. It was then written about by Music Week, Radio Times and Digital Spy amongst others; all with a large online readership.
The note came to the attention of Stephen Fry, who has over 3.2 million followers. He tweeted this.
UPDATE – The X Factor have announced that the group Rhythmix will be changing their name. Social Media gave a stage to the Rhythmix charity and their aims – and it seems. got them exactly what they wanted.