When it comes to PR, one of the most important parts of the job is dealing with the press. Depending on your client’s profile, this can be easy or extremely difficult. For example, if you’re an entertainment firm working for a B-list celebrity that no one has heard of then getting media attention will be more achievable than if you were working for Mark Zuckerberg (an unlikely scenario, I know…).
Before we start, though; what makes Facebook so interesting? Well,, it all began back in 2004, when Harvard student and computer genius Mark Zuckerberg set out to make his final year project “Facemash” – an application where students could vote on two people’s attractiveness. If only he knew how popular this site would soon become! Fast forward a few months, and Zuckerberg had created Thefacebook.com, which would eventually become Facebook.
The first thing to note is that PR was very different back then—especially when it came to communicating with the media. In those days, if you wanted to get in touch with a journalist, you had to pick up the phone and call them (or send them an email if you were lucky). This was before the days of social media and instant communication, so it was much harder to get your story heard.
With the launch of Thefacebook.com, Zuckerberg and his team were quickly inundated with requests from journalists all over the world. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a clue how to deal with them! They hadn’t hired a PR team to help them, so they were left alone to fend off the media. go For The delhi pr agencies
It didn’t take long for one journalist, in particular, to get suspicious. Tech reporter Adam L. Penenberg was intrigued when he received a press release about this new social network that no one had ever heard of.
He quickly contacted Zuckerberg and Facebook’s COO, Chris Hughes, via email and asked for an interview with both men. What happened next was something no PR pro would be happy with… Zuckerberg replied back, saying “I don’t want to meet anyone from Newsweek.” He obviously wasn’t serious, but it gave Penenberg even more reason to investigate further-which is exactly what he did!
After some more research and digging, Penenberg discovered that Facebook was actually a replica of Xanga.com – a much smaller social network that launched back in 1999. Penenberg also discovered that two of Facebook’s team members had copied their own personal profiles from one website to another. And Mark Zuckerberg? Well, apparently he just ripped off The Facebook page full stop! Are you looking pr agencies in delhi
This is where the story gets good, though, because instead of shutting up and accepting defeat, Mark went on to do something I doubt any PR advisor would have ever suggested. He actually admitted it all.
On May 26th 2004, Zuckerberg posted an open letter to his userbase saying “Yes, we have used many ideas from Xanga” but the reason they did so was that Zuckerberg admired their work. After admitting what happened, he also promised to change the site’s privacy settings so that users had more control over their personal data.
The thing I love about this story is that Zuckerberg didn’t try to cover it up or hide it from the press. He actually owned up to his mistakes and dealt with the consequences head-on. This is something that we see a lot less of today, especially with the rise of social media and its ability to quickly spread news (both good and bad). Are you looking pr agencies in delhi
What can we learn from all of this?
- PR has changed a lot over the years, especially when it comes to communicating with the media.
- It’s important to be prepared for any situation, especially if you’re dealing with journalists.
- Owning up to your mistakes can sometimes be the best thing you can do.
- Social media is a powerful tool that can help or hurt your brand, so use it wisely.