Brandie runs interactive marketing for the Luxor hotel and casino in Las Vegas, as well as running social media for other parts of the MGM/Mirage family. One way she does this is by managing the social media outreach for some of the properties. Brandie plays a big part in the start of the story of how the three of us at New Marketing Labs got access to stand on and take photos of Treasure Island‘s famous ship, The Song. There’s a business communications point to this story.
Justin Levy came up with a crazy idea. He said, “I wonder if we can get on board the pirate ship out in front of Treasure Island.” I thought it was brilliant. We both immediately asked Twitter who knew whom and how we could get onto the ship. Justin is persistent and knows many people. He found Brandie quite quickly, and started the ball rolling.
What Comes Next
Brandie reached out internally into the MGM/Mirage team and found us enough connections to ask for help. I got connected to Christi Braginton, MGM MIRAGE’s Public Relations Director. It’s her obligation to preserve and protect this very expensive brands, and to enable the right kind of storytelling that will do the best justice to her properties. It’s a powerful responsibility, and if anyone reading has had the job of deciding what kinds of stories are important for a company, you know that evaluating these things is tough.
Christi didn’t owe us anything. Further, I ran into trouble connecting with her. I didn’t get her email message back to me and I fretted, so I begged Brandie to help me find my way to Christi again. My first phone call to Christi went poorly because it kept dropping out. So, given that all I’d done to make this an even harder decision, we didn’t expect them to say yes.
I finally spoke to Christi on the phone, and I told her what I wanted to do. She was very professional, very polite, and we had a great conversation about my goals, and how I wanted to use the photos. After a really great talk, Christi agreed, and here’s why:
Outreach and Relationships Have Legs
Having Brandie listening in the social sphere meant that she knew we were coming to town. She knew more than many of the other hotel and casinos. She was human-aware. Thereafter, Brandie was able to connect the rest of the organization. Everyone was given the challenge of making an exception for a blogger and his tiny 3-person company, and they did it.
And now, with the help of super-photographer Brian Solis, I want to show you just one of a few amazing photos shot from our very own personal pirate ship, the Treasure Island Song (which is the centerpiece of a really cool outdoors live show every night), here is one of our photos. Justin Levy, Colin Browning, and me, on board a pirate ship:
VERY special thanks to Brandie, Christi Braginton, Brian Solis, and Justin Levy for the idea in the first place.