Not even at the movies?

Crazy Week

This isn’t my usual post about a PR case study in the making, but sometimes you just need to switch things up a bit.

I wasn’t even going to write this week.  It’s been one of those odd weeks where everything is off schedule.

It was my birthday, and as a special gift, my husband took me to NYC for a couple of days to see my all-time favorite musician, David Gilmour, who happened to end his latest North American tour on my birthday.  It was an amazing trip, but not typical of my mid-week schedule.

Then, when we got back, we celebrated my mother’s birthday and our daughter called to say that she and her boyfriend were coming home for the weekend.  Surprise!  Nice, but then I had a bunch of things that had to get done on top of playing  catch-up.

So, I wasn’t going to write this week.  But then there was a trend on my Facebook page this morning that caught my eye, and a related post in my Facebook memories.  The connection was too great to ignore.

Can’t go without texting?

As 21st century PR pros, we know what it’s like to be glued to our phones, computers and devices.  We have to stay current in this incredibly fast-paced world where the news cycle has shrunk to a few hours and minutes.

Heck, even a lot of non-PR people can’t go without texting, tweeting, and sharing during every waking minute.

But, in this world where we are all in constant contact and constant communication mode, I believe it’s important to regularly unplug.  For those who work in the communications field, it’s especially beneficial to have a bit of time each day to break from the continual information gathering and speaking/writing. It’s good for the mind and soul.

But, it’s not so easy for some people to go without communicating in some form.

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This cartoon was in my Facebook memories from a couple of years ago. I still find it funny.  I also ask, can you not watch a movie for an hour and a half without texting? 2013 Tim Davis via Christianity Today Leadership Journal.

As great as he his (don’t tell him I said that!), my husband drives me crazy about his phone. He breaks out in a cold sweat if he doesn’t have his phone within arms reach at all times. On top of being a news junkie,  he insists on checking his phone every few minutes when we’re watching a movie or show together at home, and it’s worse when we go out to dinner.  I have to constantly remind him to be present and unplug, but it does no good.  He’s addicted.

Texting @ AMC Theaters? Really?

Because I live with a communications junkie, I feel the pain of thousands who are lashing out this morning at AMC Theaters for considering allowing texting during some movies.

The movie theater is one of those few last great places left on earth where texting is absolutely not allowed.  I love the rare occasion that I can convince the hubby to go to the movies.  Aside from enjoying a good flick, that time when he has to turn off his phone is precious to me.

So why does AMC want to take that away from us?

Well, it’s all about marketing and who AMC Theaters wants to attract.

Newly appointed AMC CEO Adam Aron told Variety

When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear please cut off your left arm above the elbow. You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life.

But what about those of us who aren’t 22? What about the other demographics that have the discretionary income to actually afford to go to the movies?  Aron answered these questions by saying:

At the same time, though, we’re going to have to figure out a way to do it that doesn’t disturb today’s audiences. There’s a reason there are ads up there saying turn off your phone, because today’s moviegoer doesn’t want somebody sitting next to them texting or having their phone on.

Aron goes on to tell Variety that texting-only theater seating might be the option.

Seems like a win-win proposal for AMC, but how will this be received?

Check back tomorrow when I share results of my own poll and social media comments. We’ll see how this particular marketing strategy is causing PR problems for AMC, and we’ll ask how other theater chains might respond.

 

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