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Eurofurence 26 — "Welcome to Tortuga"
Estrel Congress Center Berlin
July 28 – August 1, 2021
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Author Topic: EF17 Public Relations Report  (Read 4623 times)

o'wolf

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EF17 Public Relations Report
« on: 26.08.2011, 16:27:07 »

After all TV have been broadcast please allow me to explain this years strategy and my point of view how well or poorly it worked.

All in all the strategy of limiting the media to the Friday morning slot worked much better than last year. We did have a reporter from Radio SAW (a regional private radio station) and a camera team of the MDR (a regional public television broadcaster) briefly on site, the later to produce a trailer for Fridays edition of the regional news magazine "Sachsen-Anhalt Heute", which went smoothly without causing too much disturbance or additional work.

On Friday morning we had the traditional press event which went a bit different than anticipated. It was planned for 10:30 with the RTL Punkt 12 team showing up at 9:40 and the RTL Explosiv one at ten. Also present were Reuters TV and MDR TV Sachsen-Anhalt. Additionally, the local newspaper Magdeburger Volksstimme came and some city magazine. Keeping four camera teams in check, organizing interview partners and suitable performers for them became increasingly difficult, as the lobby was filling much faster than expected for the fursuit group photo. This was my fault, I wrongly remembered that we were doing the photo on stage this year. I apologize to everyone who might have ended up on tape or even in the reports who did not want to due to this. I especially have to apologize to Smash (the leather wolf) to suddenly become the center of attention and any possible resulting drama. Apparently, the moment he stepped out of the elevator, the RTL Explosiv team and Reuters TV had their cameras and microphones pointed at him while I turned my back to them for just a moment. Furthermore, I have to thank Smash for his professional behavior and considerate answers.

A few words about the reports. I'm particularly disappointed by Reuters TV who completely ignored our information texts and rather used what sounded like a Google translate version of a French tabloid article for the commentary. Especially as this resulted in wrong information which could possibly cause some harm outside the convention. They did correct it without further comment in a later edition of a report, but the damage had been done already. I regret not noticing the potential injury the French report could cause right away (the article came only one day before the convention to my attention) and not immediately telling the Reuters reporter about its inaccuracies and errors.

What a positive surprise the RTL II news report was in comparison! They used the Reuters images, but actually researched the facts and made a completely new commentary without recognizable errors. Amazing!

The MDR report was also quite enjoyable, even though they forgot to exchange the mock-up lower thirds with the actual ones so we became "Interfurence" and Tefnut the "Ancient Goddess of Moisture". Whatever. As a first, we let the MDR into the art show, interviewing Alector Fencer. Regrettably, they didn't use the interview in the final cut.

The newspaper reports by the Magdeburger Volksstimme (daily newspaper) and Generalanzeiger (weekly free newspaper) were awesome again. The Volksstimme dedicated one whole page to Eurofurence reporting. Wow!

The DPA photos of the parade were also great again and had world wide distribution, even though DPA keeps calling me Jens. For those who don't know, my first name is Joerg. As this is not about me but the convention I'm glad they at least got the facts about Eurofurence right.

Most controversial was the presence of the two RTL teams. One, Punkt 12, told me they two days before the press event were not interested in it after all, just in the parade, as they were only doing a home story with Fjordwolf. Mind you, they only briefly mentioned the home story in one of the several previous phone calls. We usually don't want to be a mere backdrop for home stories, we want the media to report about the convention. Of course I'm fully aware that while a show like RTL Punkt 12 has a short news segment, most of it consists of gossip. And RTL Explosiv is all gossip. But at least we were able to convince them to stay only through the press event and the parade. What I could not avoid was the Explosiv team fishing for participients for the home story. I'd love to at least have had a talk with Kiki McCloud first, but somehow never managed to meet her for the rest of the convention. Everyone, please, do me a favor: if you are approached at Eurofurence if you want to take part in a home story for some media, please contact me right away (ask security or a staff member if you can't find me.) The reports were really great for these kinds of magazines, but it doesn't mean that the next report will be the same. For those who have seen the unfortunate GamesCom report by RTL Explosiv: this is the other extreme that might happen. I don't want you to get yourself into something without knowing the possible consequences. Of course, it is always your decision in the end.

Of course, reporters negotiating home stories wasn't supposed to happen, either. Having the photo shoot and the parade on Friday most likely was a one-off (we didn't want to steal the show of the Magdeburg Christopher Street Day, especially not on their 10th anniversary). It did have the advantage to be able to keep the media, in particular TV, out for most of the convention, though.

Also, I had more camera teams on site at the same time that we could handle. For next year we will strictly limit it to two or three camera teams. I also learned from this experience and the feedback so far that it will not be possible to spread camera teams more over the convention. It is causing too much disruption. Especially, as the lobby is the central place of the convention which everyone has to cross. And we cannot stick a camera team into a conference room for recordings, either. One thing we'd need to change but can't is moving the press event to Thursday morning. Unfortunately, this is not possible as the pawpet show rehearsal on Wednesday takes all night until 7 next morning.

I have heard voices (again) why we are letting the media in at all. Simple answer: a convention with 1000 attendees from all over the world naturally does attract media attention and rightfully so. This is an event of public interest, no doubt. Especially in the middle of the otherwise relatively calm capital of Saxony-Anhalt. With attendees going out in costume, interacting with the locals, eating restaurants out of food, etc... And by all means: keep that up! It is awesome!

So we are inviting local and regional press. And we may refer selected members of the media like RTL or Reuters this year to our press event if they ask. We decline the vast majority of media requests, though.

And there is even more to it. Long-term strategy. We have to train ourselves to cope with the gossip shows and the people doing them, learn to interact, find out how to work with them. The media is not inherently friendly to us. As someone else put it, they sell attention. Any kind of, as long as it keeps the viewer sitting in front of the TV and not touch that dial. The furry fandom is very diverse, and the fringe of it has people doing really embarrassing things. Interests you and I don't want to be associated with, shared by people only too eager to tell the whole world. The only way to keep them out of focus and us from embarrassment is to occupy the range of focus ourselves. And collect as much experience as possible to handle it in a professional way if they manage to get exposure.

Well, and of course aspects like the huge amount of people in the fandom doing awesome things that deserve a much higher audience. We are getting our ideas from pop culture, we should give back to pop culture, we ARE pop culture. No need to hide that, quite the opposite.

So far, the coverage of Eurofurence in the media was very positive. And it wouldn't be possible without all the people helping to maintain this image. I'd like to especially thank Jim Martin, Rogue, Aetobatus, Lynard, Luxen, Kralle, Tioh, Smash, Alector Fencer, Khaosdog, Cheetah, Finnfox, Fjordwolf and whoever I missed in this list for their support. You folks rock!
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Bostitch

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Re: EF17 Public Relations Report
« Reply #1 on: 26.08.2011, 17:54:19 »

Well done juggling all those journalists around!
The newspaper reports by the Magdeburger Volksstimme (daily newspaper) and Generalanzeiger (weekly free newspaper) were awesome again. The Volksstimme dedicated one whole page to Eurofurence reporting. Wow!

The DPA photos of the parade were also great again and had world wide distribution, even though DPA keeps calling me Jens.
Is anyone able to make scans of these publications? (Or link, if they are online)
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o'wolf

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Re: EF17 Public Relations Report
« Reply #2 on: 26.08.2011, 19:03:08 »

Well done juggling all those journalists around!
The newspaper reports by the Magdeburger Volksstimme (daily newspaper) and Generalanzeiger (weekly free newspaper) were awesome again. The Volksstimme dedicated one whole page to Eurofurence reporting. Wow!

The DPA photos of the parade were also great again and had world wide distribution, even though DPA keeps calling me Jens.
Is anyone able to make scans of these publications? (Or link, if they are online)

Most of it is online:


For the DPA photos you need to click through a number of articles, for example:


And the MDR has put up their own article and photos:

« Last Edit: 26.08.2011, 19:46:46 by o'wolf »
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Cheetah

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Re: EF17 Public Relations Report
« Reply #3 on: 26.08.2011, 19:24:54 »

It would still be nice to have scans of the dead-tree editions ... anyone?
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Barney

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Re: EF17 Public Relations Report
« Reply #4 on: 26.08.2011, 19:26:49 »

Volkstimme pre con report has a broken link: Object not found!
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o'wolf

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Re: EF17 Public Relations Report
« Reply #5 on: 26.08.2011, 19:47:11 »

Volkstimme pre con report has a broken link: Object not found!
Fixed, thanks.
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Schakaline

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Re: EF17 Public Relations Report
« Reply #6 on: 26.08.2011, 20:20:16 »

It would still be nice to have scans of the dead-tree editions ... anyone?

http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=magdeburgerlokalanzeig5diw.jpg#
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Huskyboy

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Re: EF17 Public Relations Report
« Reply #7 on: 26.08.2011, 20:20:52 »

i was wondering that RTL2 can make a good Report in their News, first i was thinking "oh god, no!" but then they Surprised me...

But i Agree, working with Press can be very very Dangerous, they can destroy lives when they want, would not be the First Time
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BigBlueFox

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Re: EF17 Public Relations Report
« Reply #8 on: 27.08.2011, 02:04:32 »

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Huskyboy

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Re: EF17 Public Relations Report
« Reply #9 on: 27.08.2011, 11:54:10 »

lol, yeah i love those "Running Orders"
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MartinRJ

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Re: EF17 Public Relations Report
« Reply #10 on: 30.08.2011, 04:24:46 »

You should be happy to have so many TV-teams at the convention, that was very exciting for me and complimentary for all of us. And I hope it keeps the TV teams attracted.
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