If nothing else good came from the infamous Fyre Festival, we as influencer marketers can at least take away some important lessons.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably already know that Hulu and Netflix recently released documentaries detailing a failed luxury music festival that “happened” in 2017 called Fyre Festival. The documentaries showed a well-promoted, influencer marketing heavy, event that ultimately didn’t happen like the promotions portrayed.
In light of the influencer marketing efforts that were behind this failed festival, here are some takeaways that we as influencer marketers can learn from.
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Influencers hold power with their influence
Watching the Fyre Festival documentaries gave me a rude reminder that influencers hold a lot of power. People make real, sometimes not positive, decisions based on what an influencer promotes. This power can’t be wielded frivolously by influencers or the influencer marketers who are behind the event/product they are promoting.
You hold some responsibility for consumers’ purchase choices
You could argue that the influencer marketers involved in the Fyre Festival had no knowledge of how the event was going to play out, and to some extent, this is probably pretty accurate.
Most marketing agencies don’t know the inner workings of the companies they market. But, at the same time, there is a certain level of responsibility we hold when it comes to what consumers buy. As responsible and ethical marketers, we should be vetting clients before we agree to work with them, because we are the ones asking consumers to buy a product or participate in an event.
Simple client vetting looks like Google searches about the owner or company, reading through any news articles or criminal history associated with the company, and asking outside people who are familiar with the company about their reputation.
There’s only so much you can control
Once you’ve vetted your potential client, then you do just have to do your job. If the event/product/company you are hired by fails, but people still bought, attended and social chattered about it, you did your job.
If you have ethical yellow flags that come up during your work process, note them, voice your concerns, and keep working. If ethical red flags occur, voice your concerns, and the company doesn’t change course, then jump ship.
Control what you can, and get out when it’s beyond your control or doesn’t sit right with you ethically.
At the end of the day, you have to act as your own entity with your own moral code, and not get caught up with clients that operate unethically. This is the main lesson Fyre Festival taught me and hope you can learn from as well.
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