NEWS, ANALYSIS and OPINION by Andy Ebon
The last two weeks brought tumult to the wedding industry. ABC’s 20/20 ‘Wedding Confidential’ was the prime catalyst for anger, discontent, and resentment. Its funhouse-mirror-view of the wedding industry was pervasive during the 41 minutes of the program.
“The tricks of the wedding industry are revealed; how to save money and stay calm while planning a wedding; the latest wedding trends; wedding mishaps; extreme wedding proposals.”
Last week, I suggested the first steps in create an alliance among wedding industry association and professionals. It’s not an absolute or final solution to promoting a positive wedding industry reputation, by itself, but part of a greater grass-roots effort.
The cacophony of comments via social media, blogs has been deafening. Most of the messages have been well-intended. Some essays and open letters have been spot on. Others read like a litany of droning clichés, referring to “the perfect wedding, a bride’s dream, and a unique experience.”
Yet another angle was ‘newsjacking’. Attempting to capture web traffic, based on the TV show, drawing traffic to a writer’s wedding web directory by hitching their wagon to the slanted 20/20 news-magazine programming. Truly self-serving and pathetic.
Howling at the Moon
Social Media, Blogs, and Websites are ideal for two things:
- Garnering search engine traffic through specific search terms (i.e. 20/20 wedding confidential on Google)
- Short attention spans
Effective Public Relations is not a momentary task. It is an ongoing effort, indicative of quality work by wedding professionals, individually, collectively, and everything in-between.
The solutions aren’t particularly complex. It’s not about fighting city hall or playing whack-a-mole with periodic mean-spirited profiles by opportunistic media. Neither, is the problem rooted in demeaning reality shows which, in the majority, are broadcast to provide ‘entertainment’ for a viewers’ guilty pleasure, rather than anything truly resembling helpful information for the bride and groom.
How many viewers were sucked into the Kim Kardashian – Kris Humphries wedding vortex? 72 days of ‘marriage’ and a fortune in revenue. Next to the Royal Wedding, this was junk-food TV, at its worst.
How Wedding Industry Can Evolve
It begins with sole proprietors and local networking groups identifying writers and assignment producers serving local media… and delivering well-framed story-ideas to them. It involves dissemination of good news about weddings and wedding businesses through industry blogs, social media, and websites.
Wedding professionals must lobby its leaders in the associations and networking groups they belong to. Lobby them to take public stands representing their members in the proper light.
No single person is in charge of the wedding industry. You are in charge. Don’t just howl at the moon in frustration.
Target your positive message toward specific news, information, and social media outlets. Motivate your peers and challenge the leaders of your membership organizations and influential wedding industry thought leaders to speak up and speak out.
Ask yourself what you can do… to make your business more effective, to pair your work with those who seek constant improvement, and surround yourself with people who espouse ever-evolving high standards.
Ultimately, providing phenomenal products and services can drown out the noise… if properly promoted.
Wedding Industry Leader… that would be YOU!
Wedding Marketing Expert