Commerical interests trying to influence Tweets? Powershop

Earlier today Powershop started promoting its new hashtag #powerlolz.


This is an interesting approach to building their brand. But I think it is rather harmless. But there is a second, not so publicly promoted aspect to this campaign. I got an email about it this morning, sent to the email address associated with this blog, direct from the PR company that is running it:


Laura McQuillan sums it up with her tweet:



Katie Bradford also observes:


I think encouraging normal Twitter users to engage in coming up with funny tweets isn’t such a bad thing. Hopefully they will be able to encourage a few people to take an interest in the election in the hopes of winning $50. But trying to encourage the media to engage in it is, I think, questionable.

The media should be reporting on what is happening, not trying to turn it all into something that can be seen as a joke. However the tweets so far suggest that those in the media are not going to take part. So why did Powershop think it would be a good idea to offer the media, and bloggers, prizes for doing something taht could be seen as skewing coverage? Sure some members of the media have sharp wits that can come up with some good laughs, and many bloggers including myself try and produce interesting and attention grabbing titles, but we aren’t going to do it for money, while at the same time trying to advance the interests of a third party. How they thought this was a good idea I am not sure.