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.

Rhythmic Open Letter to Simon Cowell

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.

Stephen Fry Twitter Simon Cowell

The Power of Twitter and Facebook

The story is now out there. It’s being shared on pop culture and entertainment blogs and magazines. Through clever and targeted use of Social Media the Rhythmix Charity has succesfully got a message that deserved to be heard out into the open. Now we just have to watch and see how it develops.
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.