A momentous moment in Eurovision Song Contest history will take place in London on March 31st when a special ‘Eurovision Greatest Hits’ concert takes place to celebrate the event’s 60th anniversary. Eurovision history has crossed paths with London on several occasions, and it has been held at the South Bank and Royal Albert Hall. This time the venue will be the Eventim Hammersmith Apollo and the network of Eurovision fans will be descending en masse on the London venue.
Eurovision Song Contest fans are so passionate and well-maintained a fan group that they are a vital pressure group, helping to shape the Eurovision Song Contest and it’s historical development. Fan websites such as esctoday.com have grown up to bring fans’ opinions about the Contest to the organisers and put forward changes to the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group, with many of htem being adopted. The site’s founder, Sietse Bakker has progressed to become the Eurovision Song Contest Event Supervisor. Bakker passed esctoday.com to Benny Royston (then Barry Viniker) a leading Eurovision Song Contest expert about Eurovision developments and news. He is ofteninvited to give comments and explanations about Eurovision News on television and Radio.
Benny has recently been supporting the campaign to put Bucks Fizz (or three of the original four band members) on stage at the Eurovision Song Contest Greatest Hit’s party is gathering momentum. The campaign was started by fans tweeting #iwantmyfizz on social media and within 48 hours, a facebook page supporting Bucks Fizz for the tv show gained more than 650 supporters and reached over 21,000 people. the campaign has reached the national media and is in the Sunday Mirror.
Pressure Groups can work to support people with a vested business interest in a political change or system change. In the UK, there are many pressure groups around medicine and the NHS. Some are workers’ unions that try to take staff out on strike to force the Government or NHS trusts to offer better pay deals or improved working conditions. Legal firms of solicitors and lawyers and partnerships try to advertise no-win-no-fee deals to build up a stack of cases where people sue the hospitals for accidents or unwanted results from treatments. As a result, doctors are put under intense pressure. It is often the case in the modern British health service that it is a less expensive option, particularly in a PR driven sector, to ditch a doctor and make a financial settlement to make a potentially reputation damaging problem disappear. For this reason, doctors support groups are appearing across the country. These hope to protect doctors’ rights and provider a less stressful working environment where demands are fair.
Pressure groups, fan groups and those looking to force system change all turn to the internet and the power of websites and social media. Website promotion can be online marketing, primarily through SEO (search engine optimisation) and social media. Innovative platforms such as audioboom, storify, YouTube and Instagram have risen to challenge Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as people move from personal statements to telling stories and sharing experiences. Visual as well as experiential social media are playing an increasing role in SEO results on Google and website promotion is increasingly focussed on integrating this into the websites. Sites that ensure a high level of video and visual content are more likely to perform well on search engine SEO and reach the first page on Google.