As some of you know, last fall, I helped HP promote a charity auction of celebrity signed photos and printers from the Toronto Film Festival.
Well, we’re back 🙂
As a sponsor, HP has a lot of activity at the festival – from providing the technology backbone to the entire festival, as well as all the festival “printables” (posters, signs, and so forth) to a pretty neat consumer promotion where attendees can win HP digital photography gear. Plus of course, the HP Portrait Studio produced by WireImage, where all the celebrities come to get their portraits done.
As part of the overall Sundance effort, HP decided to do a blog. With all the staff and volunteers on the ground in Park City, we had all the makings of a cool blog: stuff going on and people there to write about it.
So, Backstage at Sundance was born:
The Backstage at Sundance blog is your backstage pass to what’s happening at Sundance. HP is a presenting sponsor at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, and a group of HP employees have agreed to blog all about it. So those of us who can’t be there will feel like we are! Everything from what’s happening on the streets of Park City to interviews with the stars coming into the WireImage Portrait Studio, to film reviews, to a backstage look at the HP technology that’s powering the festival. It will all be here! Plus, the blog will have the first look at the celebrity photos that will be available in our charity auction on eBay in February.
I helped HP with the blog’s editorial development including helping them clarify the overall objectives of the blog, training the bloggers (most of them new to the medium) on general blogging principles, giving them some general guidance on what “blog what you experience” means, identifying “beats” such as film reviews and Portrait Studio reports, and generally supporting the writer-volunteers. I also am blogging for them (from a distance unfortunately) during the festival and auction, mostly about things I find on the ‘net about Sundance.
Our hope was that the bloggers’ excitement at being at Sundance would permeate their writing, and from initial reports, I know it will. I spoke to one of the bloggers this morning and she was jazzed! She had arrived in Park City last night, and already had about four blog posts in her head from people she had met everywhere from the airport to the shuttle to the restaurant at dinner!! She just needed to get online and write the posts!!
And that’s the key – real people will be blogging from Sundance all about their experiences. HP products may be mentioned, but the bloggers have been told that there is absolutely no requirement to ever mention a product. It fits what you want to write, go for it. It doesn’t, that’s fine too. A fun, entertaining blog will enhance the HP brand far more than a bunch of posts about products.
Some of the things we blog you may be able to read elsewhere. And some you won’t. For example, the PortraitStudio is not open to the public; Backstage at Sundance is the only place you’ll be able to get behind the scenes. As well as get a first look at which celebrity portraits will be in the auction.
And for me, that is one of the key parts of the blog. I will again be doing the fan outreach for the charity auction once we know which celebrities have agreed to participate. Having an active blog really helps set the stage.
So: if you are interested in the Sundance Film Festival or think you might want to bid in a charity auction to benefit Habitat for Humanity, please check out Backstage at Sundance !!!