19 Apr Ding Dong traditional media is almost dead
The power of social media and the weakness of the traditional outlets of PR have been illustrated in some style this past week by the controversy surrounding the death of Margaret Thatcher.
Unless you have been on Mars, you will be aware of the attempts to make Ding Dong The Witch is Dead, from the Wizard of Oz, the number one song of the week in the charts.
It failed, in that it got to number 2, but the message dissenters wanted to get across and the media furore was as effective as if had outsold Do They Know It’s Christmas.
Listening to BBC Radio as I drove off for a family weekend break I heard a Tory Baroness friend of the late Prime Minister saying how vital it was that this song wasn’t played on the BBC or commercial radio.
The debate raged and if I hadn’t been hampered by two small children wanting to get to Butlins I would have pulled over on the A34 and rang up to say ‘Why are you having this futile discussion?’
It’s pointless. I’ve had the clip sent to me via Facebook, and so have millions of others through Twitter emails etc. We don’t need the BBC or Capital Radio making decisions about it.
This discussion on the radio was applying logic that fitted perfectly when Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood was banned when Mrs T was at the height of her powers.
The argument went about how upsetting it was for the family etc, but surely they didn’t need to hear it on the Chart Show on Radio 1 on Sunday to get the handkerchiefs out and wale uncontrollably that ‘so many ghastly people have been rather vile’ about dear old Margaret.
I’m sure Carol, Mark and the grandkids were very well of what was happening in the charts due to the amount of newspaper front pages, radio debates, as well as the internet explosion of stories.
Regardless of politics, the dissenters must be delighted, as this was a magnificent PR campaign which gained maximum impact.
It also showed how social media has changed the landscape so much. It was this medium that gelled the dissenters together to download the song and in doing so add a very toxic taste to the debate about her legacy.
If Mrs Thatcher had died a decade ago, in all likelihood her memory and legacy would have certainly had a gentler ride the past week, but in 2013, it’s so very different to when she was in power.
The media is no longer controlled by the BBC or regular channels the way it was. It is now the public’s domain and regardless of the views of the friends and family of a controversial politician, that is better for all of us. It’s real democracy.