Paramount Star Trek Outreach FAIL

I have been mulling over whether or not I should blog about a disappointing experience I had with Paramount a few weeks back. But I think there is a lesson to be learned here about the right and wrong way to conduct social outreach, so I am going to lay out what happened.

Here's the story. Below is an email I received the evening of May 4th from interns at Paramount Field Marketing and Promotions department:


So I of course get REALLY REALLY FREAKIN' EXCITED and email everyone at the Undercurrent office, close friends and start Tweeting like crazy. Then I get a follow up email the next day: 


To say the least, I was so disappointed as were the friends and digerati's I contacted to go with me. Paramount's half-assed efforts to do something special for Twitter and Facebook-ers is best classified as a "Social Media" Outreach FAIL. 

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  • Jim says:

    I would like to know how many people they actually sent this out to. It sounds like a marketing ploy for the new movie. I am sorry you and your friends were disappointed.

  • Nicole says:

    Wow! That’s rough. And a bit weird. Don’t you think they would have planned it a bit better so that the fail wouldn’t happen?

  • You would think that they would know that canceling something like this is a loser move, especially when they notified you ahead of time. Maybe reserving the theatre beforehand might’ve been a good idea….
    Of course, since Paramount is currently a distribution company, and not making any of their own films, the negative publicity generated might be an incentive to get it right the next time.
    If there is one.

  • My first question is: Why didn’t they work to secure the theaters BEFORE they contacted people on Facebook? So many companies are hiring interns to do their online social media to save a few bucks and this is what happens. I’m all for hiring interns but they still need to be supervised and mentored by someone with a little more experience.

  • PR Cog says:

    It’s almost as if the interns got access to the ‘good files’ and went rogue.
    It took them all of 42-ish hours to realize they had no theater? It’s really one of the key items to conduct a viewing (film, theater, people).
    Seriously…Paramount doesn’t have enough pull to get a theater together for 20ppl (and their friends) and can’t come up with anything better than ‘go see it like everyone else.’
    At the very least offer comps, reserved seating at regularly scheduled showing, or for what it’s worth they could call the elite “20” to explain themselves rather than a f/u (follow-up, not the other f/u) email.

  • Ian says:

    Aren’t you offended by the “Dear Young Socialite” greeting?

  • This blows…
    Don’t offer it in the first place if you can’t deliver on the goods…and don’t screw up with people who have a pen.

  • Youngistaan says:

    Don’t be so so disappointed Julia. Better luck next time. 😉

  • Beau Vass says:

    Wow, it’s amazing to me that they can totally screw it up in such a short amount of time.
    It sounds like a ploy to me: invite “all” of your friends… surely 5, 10, 20 or something a little more rigid would be appropriate, and surely a rigid number of friends has the same impact on the recipient as “all”, but at least that way they could actually book the theatre before making the offer. If they say “all” you might be inclined to tell everyone on facebook and twitter to come down – thus publicising the movie.
    The same draconian managers that think that is a good ploy would also be the ones that think calling it off will be a small price to pay for the publicity…
    Really glad you wrote this up Julia, if we publicise the facts of incidences, no one can say there is any kind of agenda. These are facts for everyone to take in and make their own judgements.

  • CT says:

    Must be something going around: Last month, the Mets abruptly cancelled a bloggers-only tour of Citi Field. They say they’re rescheduling with the chance at free game tix tossed in; I guess that was key to avoiding writers’ wrath (although I wasn’t too miffed).

  • Lolly says:

    I am not so keen on the ‘Dear Socialite’ either – I mean they could at least have used your name! 😉

  • Hey julia, first time visitor and commenter :)
    wow that is indeed a FAIL.
    not very well coordinated or planned..
    Being called a “young socialite” already seems odd, but the fact that it comes from an intern.. bad way to start a personal email. I would have personalized the emails at the very least.
    At minimum I would have given away 2 free tickets after the cancellation out of courtesy..

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