Eurostar V Rage

It’s been a big weekend for web enriched news. We had the trapped passengers on Eurostar story being played out on Twitter via #eurostarfail, then there was Rage Against the Machine upsetting the X-Factor Christmas number one push thanks to an online campaign, plus continuing reports of regime opposition in Iran at the funeral of Ayatollah Montezeri posted online at reformist sites like aljaras.com and Rahesabz.net (as reported by BBC News).

Anyone following the tweets yesterday could read dozens of personal stories of suffering in the channel tunnel, coloured with insight from online news sites and social media pundits pretty much united in their villification of Eurostar for not easing the pain of the tweeters with social media.

In actual fact, Eurostar appears to have been countering the wave of upset. It even had the great fortune to be in the hands of Wearesocial, a leading online PR agency, who got to work at Eurostar HQ in St Pancras with the marketing director and chief executive Richard Brown putting the Eurostar ‘side of the story’ out.

Trying to make sense of things online was confusing at best despite the efforts of TechcrunchEurope to thread a running commentary with the help of a PR contact on board one of the trains. Techcruch Europe

PRs everywhere, well what do you expect? Now the online ‘view on the ground’ has become so important, for the big stories the involvement of professional marketers and PRs is virtually a given. The imminent job of rebranding Eurostar (as reported in Design Week) just got harder by a hundredweight for the branding consultancy Someone.

It’s not just in Iran (or the X-Factor) that people have other agendas.

The BBC was chastised for being slow to report the ‘scene in the tunnel’ over the weekend, which may well have been the case, but most of us still have a lot to learn about building a picture from the multi-stranded stories on the web.

Mike Exon, 12.16pm, 21 December 2009.

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