Plugging bands is traditionally pure press agentry for public relations in the music industry – so it is interesting to see their clients check into Habbo Hotel. However, will the 7 million 11-18 year olds who network in this virtual reality (a teens’ Second Life), really be engaging with the stars or isn’t it more likely that comments will be posted by flacks? This is an industry that fobbed fans off with bogus signatures from the likes of the Beatles in the 1960s and regularly chuns out fabricated stories for the Heat-magazine generation. It is a shame to see the marketers infiltrating the site – when they talk about “engaging”, they mean “selling to” – not really what social media aims to be about. Let’s hope the Habbos are smart enough to see through the hype.
Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant. View all posts by Heather Yaxley