Here at LMGPR, we try and do something fun on the last Friday of every month. For our September outing, we closed the office at noon and took a small handful of clients to the matinee showing of The Social Network, aka the Facebook movie. Before the day was out, we broke a viral Silicon Valley tech story, got kicked off the Facebook campus and appeared on the 10 o’clock news.
We can explain.
The plan was simple: We bought 12 tickets to the 1 o’clock showing of The Social Network at the Century 16 theater in Mountain View. We invited three clients — MyEGamer, Mentez and Phone Halo. We planned to watch the movie, eat lunch at The Counter in Palo Alto (a big Facebook hangout) take a team photo in front of the Facebook campus and start our weekend early.
Side note: We’re big Facebookers. Most of us signed up within a few months of its launch (Our media strategist Luke is user number 214,018) and we run several consumer-facing Facebook Pages for our clients. When the movie came out, making the decision to see it was a no-brainer for us.
We got to the theater around 12:30, just ahead of a caravan of big black buses. Hundreds of people wearing green wristbands piled out, and walked into the theater through a side door. We knew it was a company outing, but which company? Google? Yahoo? Microsoft?
We snapped a photo and went into reporter mode, asking the people walking by where they were from. Some of them looked sheepish, others ignored us. Finally, a guy told us he worked for Facebook, and that the company had bought up 1,200 tickets. Oh, and Mark was on his way.
We did what was natural… we e-mailed Mashable with the tip. They ran this story: http://mashable.com/2010/10/01/facebook-staff-social-network-screening/
By the time the movie was out (it was a great film, by the way) the story had been picked up by the New York Times, TMZ, New York Post and a ton of other Tier 1 publications.
We went to lunch as planned, and drove up to Facebook’s headquarters. We took the photo above, and were packing up when Allie Rasmus from KTVU Channel 2 pulled up and asked us if we wanted to comment on the movie. We told her about the Facebook field trip, and she started rolling. Here’s a link to her story: http://www.facebook.com/v/707872964743
As we were finishing the interview, security guards showed up and escorted us out of the parking lot. The story appeared that night on KTVU’s 10 o’clock news broadcast — the cherry on top of a very out-of-the-ordinary day.