Wedding Instability Created by Turkey Military Coup

wedding instabilityTwo years ago, during pre-election instability, the Turkey Military shut down major internet platforms: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. On the heels of an attack at the Istanbul airport, military leadership stepped in to remove the democratically elected government.

Wedding Instability

In a rather bizarre turn-of-events, the deposed Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan FaceTimed into a live TV news broadcast to encourage citizens to fight back against the army takeover. The newscaster was forced to leave the station and give up her phone, at the hands of 40-50 members of the military.

Istanbul, Turkey leads Wedding Tourism

Potentially, the developing events could be highly unsettling to the Turkish wedding industry. Istanbul is the world leader with some 150,000+ weddings, annually.

Turkey draws wedding tourism from all over Europe and Asia. Depending on how this plays out, instability could have a massive negative impact on the wedding industry.

OPINION: Paralysis of major social media platforms, and other internet activity can be devastating in any country. It’s important to play close attention to this and consider how extreme actions could affect any of us in any country.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Blog
The Wedding Marketing Authority

Using Unlicensed Music – A Cautionary Tale

Updated 4-21-14 (from 12/12/11) with a link to an article about a Colorado Springs establishment that has run afoul of music licensing law. The comments are either priceless or pathetic, depending on your point of view.

unlicensed music

The use of music, in its various form and situations, is one of the most misunderstood activities in the wedding industry. This can include use of background music on a website (an inherently idiotic idea for reasons other than licensing).

Music might used in presentations, performances, and the like. In this example, the culprit is use of unlicensed music as part of a wedding video music bed. Almost any music can be licensed, if you jump through the proper forms, pay the piper, and comply with the limitations of the licensing agreement.

From a practical standpoint, major music and publishing companies can’t be bothered (or charge enough money) to allow proper use of songs from their catalog to accommodate a videographer and their client.

As an industry, we are well past the point of simply viewing wedding video clips on our own DVD or VCR. We know about scads of social media platforms, especially the big ones, such as YouTube.

Publish a video, featuring unlicensed music, and one takes a serious risk. A good outcome would be having your video deleted. A bad outcome would be having the video go viral and then receiving a bill for the money owed to the licensor.

The linked blog is a cautionary tale of mega-proportions. And should you think it can’t happen to you… well, you’d be dead wrong.

This is a MUST READ!!

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Social Media Bans Threaten Weddings in Turkey

you-tube-bannedSocial Media Bans, and by that I mean, BANS, are creating political turmoil in the wedding capital of the world. Las Vegas is actually the second to Istanbul, Turkey, in annual volume of weddings (more than 160,000 per year).

For weddings, specifically, and tourism/hospitality, generally, events of the past week have become an instant flashpoint for freedom vs. government control, on the eve of national elections.

Turkey bans Twitter, then YouTube. Is Facebook next?

News Analysis and Opinion, The Wedding Marketing Blog

Hospitality and travel commerce, including destination weddings are fuel for commerce in countries around the globe. Wherever you call home, the actions of local, regional or national government often have dramatic impact, positive or negative on all sizes of business.

In a borderless world of social media. nothing inspires an ear-shattering response than extreme limitations on internet communication. Turkey doesn’t cross my mind often… there are bigger issues in the news cycle right now, such as: The Malaysian Airlines mystery and, in the United States, the devastating mudslides in Washington state.

Elections in Turkey are this Sunday. Be sure of this, the outcome of voting will determine what comes next in the strengthening or softening of Social Media restrictions will have a ripple effect on wedding industry business, among other categories, in Turkey.

Many internet platforms that didn’t exist, even ten years ago, are considered an absolute necessity for businesses small and large. The geographically your business, the more important these communication freedoms have become for you and your community.

Communication freedom is critical.

Speak up and speak out!

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon 
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Online Customer Comments can create Social Media Firestorm

Online Customer CommentsFacebook and Yelp! have been at the center of a social media firestorm The saga of Amy’s Baking Company began with some stinging reviews on Yelp! in 2010. Co-owner, Amy Bouzaglo, lashed back in forceful fashion.

More recently, Amy and her husband, Samy Bouzaglo, sought out the counsel of Chef Gordon Ramsay and his TV show, Kitchen Nightmares, to validate the food and service quality of their Scottsdale, Arizona establishment.

“Validation” is not what Gordon Ramsay does. He is knowledgeable, blunt, and impatient.

The assumption is: If asking for emergency damage control for your restaurant. One must listen; not make excuses, and be eager to implement his advice.

OPINION: I am not a big fan of reality or competition shows of any kind. Too much of the alleged reality is heavily shaped, or scripted. As a contestant or participant, one must agree to be filmed at will (whether you are aware you are on-camera, or not), and must agree to that editing may show you or your business in unflattering light. That being said, it would be impossible to create the content for the Kitchen Nightmares finale, simply with slick editing.

An internet search for Amy’s Baking Company yields results an amazing array of news, opinion, analysis, and public relations lessons. There is coverage from major news outlets (such as The Washington Post) to local, Phoenix-area publications (such as New Times – Chasing Amy: Overcooked Reality and the Decline of Western Civility).

Social Media Lessons to be Learned

I predict there will be case studies, public relations books, and perhaps a mini-series based on the Amy’s Baking Company social media debacle. For small businesses, in the wedding industry, and generally, a little schadenfreude is understandable. If one misses the teachable moments, though, the next firestorm may be at your doorstep.

“Yelp! is unfair” and so is life

Most customers are not looking for trouble. They are seeking a good customer experience, and should there be a bump-in-the-road, they ask to have it solved, quickly and with a responsive attitude. The crowdsourcing of opinion, on Yelp!,, or any customer-driven website is an imperfect word-of-mouth system, but extremely important to understand.

People who utilize posted customer feedback as a source of ideas and opinion learn how to interpret and identify the different types of reviews and personality traits of reviewers.

Your tone is key: Even if the assertion of a negative review seems absolutely unfair and wrong to you, resist the temptation to fire back, angrily and publicly. Such a review is particularly annoying if it refers to an issue, you could have addressed, at the time… but it was not brought to your attention.

Your response needs to be measured and fair, almost to a fault. I recommend drafting the response, sleeping on it, editing it, have it reviewed by a peer that you trust, editing it again, and the posting it.

You cannot just ignore it: The goal is not always to win the argument, but at least diffuse the situation. Failure to calm the storm and neutralize a potential string of negativity has larger repercussions. Getting a website to remove inflammatory reviews is difficult, bordering on impossible. If you search YouTube for tutorials on the subject, you’ll find a slew of choices.

FACEBOOK is the 21st Century Town Square

Sharing opinions and stories on social media, exists… period. Bad news travels fast… a lot faster than good news. Video pratfalls become TV shows. Flawless wedding ceremonies rarely go viral, except the occasional brilliant toast.

Pre-Kitchen Nightmares, Amy’s Baking Company Facebook Page had about 7000 followers. It now has over 103,000 followers.

I can assure you, from the FACEBOOK comments, most of the ‘followers’ are curiosity seekers. Some want to get in their own jabs, just for sport.

Alexandra Petri’s article on the Sun Herald website:  How to lose a fight online is a superb analysis of “what not to do.” Please read her entire article, but my top three (which Amy includes in her list are):


  2. Explain that God is on your side. (God responds)
  3. When the backlash starts, insist that your website or Facebook page were hacked.”

Amy’s Baking Company: A Cautionary Tale

Should you watch (or have already watched) the Kitchen Nightmares finale, you may conclude that Samy and Amy Bouzaglo appear to be unhinged. That may or may not be the case.

When it comes to defending our own business, employees or customer service challenges, we don’t always get it right. It is fair to believe ‘the customer is not always right’; however, in today’s age of social media reviews and potential ‘sharing-gone-viral’, it’s healthy and wise to breathe, take your time to deliberate, and respond with patience and courtesy of saint-like proportions.

Being right almost always feel good,  for a moment… but, appearing too defensive and self-righteous is a prescription for world-class backlash.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog