Tell Cowes Week Organisers What You Think Via SMS or #cowesweek 2


Competitors at Cowes Week are being asked to put on their copywriter hats and distill their feedback about the event into 160 characters. During the regatta, competitors will be able to SMS their feedback about the race courses set and the organisers will use this information to make improvements on a daily basis.

After competitors have shot off their immediate reactions, they will be able to sign up for the opportunity to get involved with a deeper feedback process that will include web-chats with Cowes Week CEO, Stuart Quarrie. He comments:

“As hosts of one of the world’s largest sailing regattas, we take pride in listening to our competitors and visitors in order to improve our event. Feedback is vital for us, not just in terms of volume, but quality and depth too. By offering the opportunity to engage with us by SMS, online feedback, and in person through our web chat, we will be able to gather a deeper understanding of what people think, and on this basis, make general improvements for future years”.

The SMS feedback mechanism will only be available to competitors, however in the world of social media and online reputation management, vistitors and other stakeholders will be able to rant or rave in real-time via the wonders of platforms like Twitter.

Already a ‘hashtag’ has been adopted by those thinking about the event which starts tomorrow. A hashtag allows many different people to group their Twitter comments together by using the symbol # before a specific codeword. In this case it is rather obviously #cowesweek.

Many of the elite competitors have their own Twitter feeds including Dee Caffari and Sam Davies who will be competing in the Artemis Challenge next Wednesday.

We think the event has it’s own official Twitter feed, but  we can’t verify who is updating it. You have to look pretty hard to find it. The official site makes no mention of Twitter and there is no call to action to follow the news in such a manner. Whether the organisers or the PR people ‘get it’ or not, the power of social media is that competitors, visitors, media, sponsors and local businesses can contribute comment, news, insight, photos and even GPS tracking in real time.

We’ll be there – and you can follow what we have to say at http://www.twitter.com/yachtbusiness

  • PRPeta

    I know that whatever I say in response to this article will probably sound like sour grapes having previously been Cowes Week's Press Officer for 8 years, leaving last year to pursue other interests. I am also undoubtedly suffering major withdrawal symptoms today as the first day of Cowes Week starts to take shape!

    Not surprisingly, I am especially keen that after working so hard to promote this event to a wider public whilst also feeding an enthusiastic and loyal media audience with as much news and in as many ways as possible throughout those years, that 2009 will not see the regatta become a shadow of its former self. The PR story this year is not just about the lack of title sponsorship funding.

    The Dunkirk spirit is apparently more in evidence today in Cowes than are the corporate indulgences, according to Telegraph journalist Kate Laven in an email to me just now.

    This spirit I see as being a huge plus (and PR) point when it comes to trying to attract a new title sponsor and it will surely resonate with the many hundreds of sailors competing at this wonderful regatta who see this as an opportunity for the regatta to revisit its roots and take stock. It is surely that spirit that will maintain this regatta's position in the world of yacht racing and will also help to attract interest from a company to crack open their sponsorship piggy bank and sign on the dotted line in preparation for 2010!

    So, in a final flourish from me, I say a big pat on the back to the organisers for staging a regatta in an especially tough year and good luck and fair winds to all who are racing this year.

  • PRPeta

    I know that whatever I say in response to this article will probably sound like sour grapes having previously been Cowes Week's Press Officer for 8 years, leaving last year to pursue other interests. I am also undoubtedly suffering major withdrawal symptoms today as the first day of Cowes Week starts to take shape!

    Not surprisingly, I am especially keen that after working so hard to promote this event to a wider public whilst also feeding an enthusiastic and loyal media audience with as much news and in as many ways as possible throughout those years, that 2009 will not see the regatta become a shadow of its former self. The PR story this year is not just about the lack of title sponsorship funding.

    The Dunkirk spirit is apparently more in evidence today in Cowes than are the corporate indulgences, according to Telegraph journalist Kate Laven in an email to me just now.

    This spirit I see as being a huge plus (and PR) point when it comes to trying to attract a new title sponsor and it will surely resonate with the many hundreds of sailors competing at this wonderful regatta who see this as an opportunity for the regatta to revisit its roots and take stock. It is surely that spirit that will maintain this regatta's position in the world of yacht racing and will also help to attract interest from a company to crack open their sponsorship piggy bank and sign on the dotted line in preparation for 2010!

    So, in a final flourish from me, I say a big pat on the back to the organisers for staging a regatta in an especially tough year and good luck and fair winds to all who are racing this year.