PickensPlan.com Uses Social Media Activism

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A few minutes ago, I saw something on TV I don’t think I’ve ever seen before – a nonpolitical commercial that advocates a plan to detoxify this country from its dependence on foreign oil.  Have a look-see for yourself.  Although, I instantly recognized the old fellow in the video as mega-billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens – this being the election season – I still expected to hear the phrase “Paid for by supporters of ____”.  Imagine my surprise when no such endorsement came (did you feel the same way?).  Curious to find out more information about the so called “PickensPlan”, I jumped over to PickensPlan.com and did some clicking around.

Now, regardless of what you may think about T. Boone Pickens as a human being, or his political beliefs, business practices or philanthropy, you have to admire the way he (or his online marketing agency) is putting the power of Internet social media to work.  It’s all there right down to the web 2.0 blue color scheme of the website.  With chicklets leading to every social media network that matters, a video blog, a forum, badges for webmasters to post to their site, he’s making savvier use of social media elements than a group of teenage girls the day after a high school prom.  And this is exactly how it’s supposed to be done.

I’m willing to bet Mr. Pickens’ social media blitz won’t play any small role in getting people to do verbs such as write, organize, and collaborate once they’ve viewed the print and television commercials.  Despite budgeting nearly $60 million to promote his plan, the site has all the look and feel of a true online grassroots movement. The main page is designed as a gateway to get people interested and educated about the PickensPlan, while offsite islands of social networking pages on Facebook and MySpace serve to help new evangelist spread the message to members of their personal network.  It’s hub marketing.  Pretty clever.  I urge folks not to be so quick to chalk this up as an act of charity from a kind old businessman who has had a good run and now wants to do something good for the rest of us.  Pickens’ company has a considerable amount to gain if the plan comes to fruition. However, I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say fossil fuel won’t last forever.

Here’s the PickensPlan in case you were wondering what all the hype is about:

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