So like I said in my last post, I’m from Christchurch, New Zealand, and unfortunately there was a fairly significant quake there recently (sure, it’s not much on Japan but it’s safe to say it’s still fairly significant). While I no longer live in NZ, many of my family and friends do, they’re all physically safe but the rebuild is going to suck.
Anyway, throughout all the 24 hour news programs I watched during the following few days (and all the phone calls home!) I noticed, with little exaggeration, nearly a million messages to donate to relief funds. I doubt that any of these messages were paid for, the ticker tape at the bottom of screen constantly pointing to www.redcross.org.nz, and on that note, I just did the same (go me)!
Within 6 hours of the earthquake, an edit by the original crew of my favourite parody on the kiwi accent appeared on YouTube with an appeal to donate (with the Red Cross link on the YouTube page)
This is a lot of free publicity, and it is even nicer to see that it’s for a great cause, and has generated a lot of additional resources for the rebuild, but is all publicity good publicity?
Well we can see from the above example, an earthquake demolishing a significant part of the city, that this publicity is not going to do much good for the city, particularly from a tourism point of view (tourism marketing being my previous profession). Short term the city gets a bit of a boost to it’s coffers for the rebuild, but anyone who previously had a holiday/vacation planned there has likely cancelled and it will be removed from most everyone’s potential list of destinations.
This is made that little bit worse for the fact that Christchurch Stadium is no longer a viable stadium for the Rugby World Cup, which would have been a great kick-start to the flow of tourists.
Now you know the next time someone says that all publicity is good publicity, for the sake of educating the world one stupid thing at a time, do me a favour and explain at length why they are wrong.
Rise up Christchurch.