Saturday, October 15, 2016

Why post this? Don't ask me why

(c) DKassnoff, 2014.
Cranking out PR for a legendary rock musician should be pretty straightforward. I'm all but certain Billy Joel has no daily involvement in his website or the Facebook page that updates his new tour dates. Nor should he.

Someone's minding those tasks, though. And doing a mediocre job.

On Oct. 14, a headline on Billy's web site announced: Billy Joel Sells Out The New Coliseum’s Opening Show In Less Than Four Minutes. Read the details here.

A sellout sure sounds impressive, doesn't it? Maybe, if your time-travelling Delorean is tooling through 1985. Internet ticket sales today have made swift concert sellouts an everyday occurance. And, few would-be ticket buyers are happy about it. They know that concert tickets are scarfed up by ticket bots and scalpers before fans ever get through the lethargic Ticketmaster website.

The problem's so severe that several states are enacting legislation to outlaw the bots.

But the person running Billy Joel's website disregarded this, and posted the four-minute sellout story as if Billy had run a four-minute mile. (Full disclosure: I saw Billy perform at Madison Square Garden in 2014. He does an amazing show, but isn't a miler by any stretch.)

Billy's Facebook followers took exception to this terrific news, as sampled in the photo at left. (Click the image for a more-readable view.)

That's not good PR. Decision-makers at really need to reconsider the news value of a four-minute concert sellout -- and how fans know they've been shut out.