Honey, I’m not home

by Susan Getgood on September 26, 2008

in Science Fiction, Travel, TV/Film

crossposted to Marketing Roadmaps

Readers of my professional blog Marketing Roadmaps may recall a series of posts I wrote about a year ago on the Sci Fi Channel’s digital press tour. Sci Fi invited members of the digital press up to Vancouver for a weekend at which the network’s current shows were featured – Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, Stargate Atlantis and the then new, now cancelled and extremely horrible Flash Gordon.

The representatives of the online sites were treated to tours of the sets of the shows, Q&As with the some of the stars and a chance to break bread with Sci Fi executives Mark Stern and Bonnie Hammer. By all accounts it was a success for both the digital media and the network.

After I completed the case study, I half jokingly told Courtney White the PR rep from New Media Strategies that she should be sure to invite me next time.

And she did. In part perhaps because I have a feature on Snapshot Chronicles that covers science fiction television, but mostly I suspect because I recently pinged her to follow up on the case study for the blogger relations book I’m working on.

So here I sit on a Southwest Airlines flight to Denver. This year, the focus is on SciFi’s unreality show GhostHunters and the premiere of the new Amanda Tapping series Sanctuary on October 3rd. Apparently there was a big GhostHunters event already planned and Sci Fi decided to combine this year’s digital press event with it.The event is being held at the Hotel Stanley in Estes Park Colorado which horror fans may recognize from Stephen King’s The Shining.

Red rum anyone?

I’ll be covering the event in three places, with three slightly different perspectives.

On Marketing Roadmaps, I will be focusing on the outreach program itself. How successful is it for the network and the online writers? Is everybody getting their full value? I noticed some repeat attendees from the first one, but the sites I spoke with for the case study will not be there. Is it a content issue – they aren’t interested in GhostHunters and Sanctuary as much as they were in the content of the previous event?

Or a cost issue? Sci Fi is reaching out to a population it refers to as digital press. Some of these are blogs, but many are online portals. The writers may even be paid and, paid or not, many consider themselves journalists. This is a very important distinction when discussing blogger relations. Not so much from the content or hospitality perspective but definitely from the expense one. Attendees pay their own travel expenses.

As a result a purist might argue that this isn’t really blogger relations. Well, I’ve never been a purist. Online engagement can take many forms. The term “blogger” in fact is already a misnomer, as we may be reaching out to customers on Twitter or through Facebook or even a branded community. As long as the blog/site in question has an element of community, where readers can comment or converse with each other in some fashion, it is social media.

On Snapshot Chronicles, I’ll be writing about the hotel and the general experience of the event, with an emphasis on photos. I saw two elk on the way into town and grabbed a quick snap from the car, and the scenery is just gorgeous. I’ll also have a review of Sanctuary after it premieres. I’ve seen the screener but those don’t always have all the effects. I’m not really a GhostHunters viewer so not entirely sure what I’ll do with that content, but I’m keeping an open mind.

I’ll also be doing a guest post over on BlogHer about the trip. Among other things, the post will cover a breakfast scheduled with actress Amanda Tapping, formerly of the Stargate franchise and now the star and an executive producer of Sanctuary.

Most importantly though I plan to have fun, and wash last weekend’s Las Vegas dust right outta my hair.

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