Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hugo PR

Over on John Scalzi's blog they're discussing the announcement of the 2008 Hugo nominees. This is not a post about the nominees instead it is about PR. The list was embargoed until 12:PM Eastern on Good Friday [as it turns out it leaked Thursday night]. In the post comments I asked admittedly without much tact if they were trying to release the list in a way to avoid press from outside the science fiction community. Mary Kay Kare the Hugo coordinator replied that actually Good Friday was an excellent time considering all of the conventions held over the weekend.

That's fine as far as getting the word out inside the community goes however it strikes me as being rather problematic when considering getting the word out outside the community. One of the more popular ways of burying something in the news cycle is to announce it before a long weekend or late on Friday, in this case they've actually gone one better by doing it on the holiday.

Maybe it wouldn't make a difference when they announced it but it probably wouldn't hurt. I realize that this year's list ended up leaking so holding on to the information any longer wouldn't have worked anyway. However it's something that should be considered for the future.

We are being constantly told that the community is slowly shrinking. Magazine subscriptions are down. The community is graying. We need to take every opportunity we can to get the word out about what were doing. One of the top North American awards should be used in a way to help this. It strikes me as a lost opportunity.

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