Some serious bedtime reading

Some serious bedtime reading

22 October 2014 | Lloyd Hughes

Last week our resident Irish PR, Michelle, wrote a blog about the unfortunate Texan tourist who found himself inadvertently locked in a Waterstones bookshop after hours.

In an attempt to free himself from his paperback prison he opted to send a tweet to the official Waterstones account to alert them of his predicament. The tweet was swiftly retweeted thousands of times, which saw the whole episode snowball and cause quite a stir on social media, as people waited to see what happened to the hapless tourist.

He was freed relatively quickly from his gilded cage, which David (the Texan) and Waterstones were swift to tweet about.

In her blog post Michelle pointed out that it might actually be quite nice to be locked inside a bookstore for the night (which I firmly agreed with) and she noted the good publicity that Waterstones received off the back of it.

There’s something magical about bookshops. The smell of new books is intoxicating and the fact that so many different stories and voices are contained in such a small space is enchanting. Getting stuck in one with time on your hands would surely be a pleasure.

The reaction on Twitter showed that I’m clearly not alone in that sentiment. And Waterstones has been quick to take advantage of the romanticism elicited by the plight of its ill-fortuned visitor.

It has now announced that it plans to hold a Waterstones sleepover. Ten lucky entrants who provide the best answer to the bookseller’s request to name the book that they would read if locked in a store overnight will get the opportunity to stay in the Piccadilly store on Friday 24th October, accompanied by a friend.

It’s teamed up with AirBnB for the stunt, which has set up a special Waterstones page through which entrants can apply.

This is another bit of great PR from Waterstones, which is certainly quick to jump on any PR opportunity that comes its way.

I loved its 2013 Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service (O.W.L.S) video that it swiftly and slickly produced off the back of Amazon’s drone announcement on the busiest online shopping day of the year.

Once again the PR team have been quick off the mark here and it seems to be reaping the rewards as the stunt has been extremely well received on social media.

Well done again, Waterstones.