IT’S time to feel a little sorry for local authority press offices, who around the country are having to deal with local reporters desperately trying to crowbar the Pokemon Go craze into their newspapers. Around the country, communications teams are having to face some back-breaking bandwagon jumping with press queries about whether they are happy their civic centres are ‘pokestops’ on the game map, or whether they really think cemeteries are appropriate places for players to be catching zubats. Or pidgeys.
At Camden Council, however, they are taking proactive first steps and asking people to play along with them through its ‘Love Camden’ handle. This, you may have forgotten, is the online listings magazine the Town Hall perseveres with, at your expense. It is separate from the council’s website, and the foggy reasons for its existence remain rather unclear, especially with belts being pulled so tight on spending.
The council has generally been quite secretive about its cost and who actually edits it, and the thorny question as to whether what Camden is actually doing here is spending money on competing with other news organisations. But it appears that somebody, somewhere at the Town Hall is being paid to come into work and tweet at us in the style of a children’s TV presenter high on orangeade. Take this suspicious looking fishing expedition for likes, retweets, hell any sort of reaction, gratuitously hashtagging Pokemon.
“So who’s been catching #pokemon in Camden? Tweet us your screenshots!,” our council tweeted excitedly. Three days on, nobody had bothered. Not even a Rattata, not even a Rattata, had been tossed the Town Hall’s way.