The Golden Globes, DKNY, Taylor Swift and Content Marketing Honesty


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What is the value of honesty in content marketing? A question with two perfectly acceptable, but totally opposite, answers.

On the one hand, it’s hugely important to be honest and open with your content’s audience. Content marketing is supposed to build credibility and it’s hard to be credible when you can’t be honest. On the other hand, too much honesty can be just that. The truth can hurt and the wrong piece of honesty in the wrong place can land you in hot water. Look at any list of content marketing errors, at least half will be truth related faux pas.

Which brings us to last night’s Golden Globe awards and the case of @dkny. The Twitter account claims to be that of a DKNY PR girl and tweets on all matters fashion as well as providing an insight into PR life in New York city. The account is a nicely put together, well-targeted content marketing channel. It provides just the kind of info and opinion that it’s target market might want to read. And last night was no different as the PR girl spent the evening live-tweeting the Golden Globes.

When Tweets Go Bad

For the most part it was pretty standard fare, comments on style before the show and speeches during. One thing that did catch the eye though was a retweet by New York Times journalist Brian Stelter. DKNY had apparently tweeted “OMG seriously?! HATE!!!” when Taylor Swift failed to tell Ryan Seacrest that she was wearing DKNY.

I say apparently because the tweet no longer appears on @dkny‘s timeline. The retweet seems to have been a comment on the PR girl’s haste to criticize over a PR push that hadn’t achieved its big moment. She even rushed to correct Stelter, claiming she was criticizing Seacrest and not Taylor Swift. Presumably this is why the tweet disappeared.

At a glance it’s another faux pas for one of those lists. But the question is, what was wrong with @dkny‘s tweet? She had spent the hours prior to Taylor Swift’s appearance building up to the dress. Her whole evening of content marketing and PR was built on that moment. And it didn’t happen.

Making the Wrong Move

Is she not entitled to be unhappy? I would be. Taylor Swift was no doubt briefed on what she needed to say, that’s why she was wearing the dress. Seacrest also knew the importance of that issue on nights like these. So why shouldn’t DKNY be annoyed that it didn’t happen? And why can’t they tweet about it?

She obviously felt she’d done something wrong; she deleted the tweet ands clarified. Stelter obviously felt the same as he retweeted it. Let’s look at the question again. What is the value of honesty in content marketing?

The Value of Honesty

The DKNY PR girl was very honest in her content last night. It was certainly an understandable and credible reaction. Two key targets of content marketing achieved, but it appeared to be a mistake. In fact, the correction damaged credibility. It gave the whole night’s tweets a polished, PR-ey feel that they hadn’t had before. Anyone reading knew that she was willing to monitor and edit her thoughts to protect the corporate image. That’s a given with content marketing but the correction and deletion made it palpable.

So was it too much honesty? Look at the tweet. It wasn’t insulting or overly critical of anyone. I’m sure those who invested money in that interview blamed either Swift or Seacrest for the missing soundbite. I imagine they had some more choice words for their chosen culprit. That’s not what was in the tweet. It was vented frustration, nothing more.

All of which leads me right back to the start. What is the value in honesty in content marketing? In theory it seems like a valuable asset, in practice it can be something else.

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Eoin Keenan
Media and Content Manager at Silicon Cloud. We help businesses to drive leads and build customer relationships through online marketing and social media. I blog mainly about social media & marketing, with some tech thrown in for good measure. All thoughts come filtered through other lives in finance, ecommerce, customer service and journalism.


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