Somewhere in a parallel universe…
When we first pitched for the job it felt, to a great extent, like just about any other public sector gig. It paid fine, but there were constraints that we had kind of got used to in how many boundaries we might be able to push. The pitching process was as you’d expect until we managed to get to the final stages. It was at that point that we realised that The Big D wasn’t nearly as hands on as his public persona would have lead one to believe. He simply wasn’t interested in any of the actual work – he was too concerned about when he’d next play golf. But what he really wanted was us to hit the numbers.
And boy did those numbers seem hookie at first. It wasn’t simply retweets or likes he was after. He wanted influence at a global level; but influence to The Big D wasn’t like the stuff about which we talked with big brands; “share of voice” and those kind of voodoo. Nope, what The Big D wanted was notoriety. “There’s no such thing as bad news” we’d hear him say (or at least we’d hear his ever-changing roster of people say that he’d said).
KPIs? Key performance = inflammation. Which is how we got to the project to get a rise from Prime Minister May.
The work we did with insults thrown at Sadiq Khan misjudged the politics over the pond. Surely, we thought, mud thrown at the Mayor of their capital city would get a response from the UK’s premier. But no; party loyalties appeared too strong to allow the Blue to back the Red. So we went back to the drawing board.
We had to tread carefully. There was a boundary beyond which, we feared, our actions would become too outlandish, too extreme, and the king of calling out fake news would be himself called out for having outsourced his social feeds. It was this point that lead to long debate from the team about whether retweets of Britain First would pass that limit. We worried about it for weeks beforehand.
But then, just after the PM had had the Royal announcements to start to deflect away from the seriously messy business of UK politics, that we figured Theresa would be thankful for another smoke screen, another distraction that would take her news agenda away from the hard stuff for another few hours. Videos retweeted and we sat and waited. There was a lot riding on this for us as a business; a clear condemnation from May would lead to a big bonus payout for us.
It didn’t take long for that payday tweet to come through, and it was huge relief as for every moment that we waited we became more and more sure that at last someone in the establishment would rumble that the whole thing was an elaborate stunt to gain column inches.
So that particular KPI has been hit, and we now turn our attention back to North Korea to see if we can get the boy wonder to actually detonate a bomb. You might think it’s immoral that we’re working our socks off to try and get minor nuclear Armageddon to occur in Asia. But I can tell you that the bonus payment on that one is astronomical. And we all come from the world of PR, so ethics aren’t our strong suit.