Today, a magical thing happened. Today I was able to combine work and play. Today, I was a winner.

Let me tell you the tale of how Brother Gorkana joined the Deathwing…

This morning I received an email from the lovely people at Gorkana announcing the launch of their new competition; #LoveGorkana. These guys are very well known for their media database, media monitoring/analysis tools, and their PR/press management system – which might sound like techno-mumbo-jumbo to a lot of readers, but they’re business critical tools for any and all PR folk out there, and things I use in my day job all the time.

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The rules are pretty broad: “Share your thoughts via social media using images/100 characters (max) and the hashtag #LoveGorkana for your chance to win a luxury night for two in a top UK hotel!”

Not one to back away from a challenge, I took a punt at joining the conversation with a few PR industry related tweets but they didn’t really stand out from the hundreds of other people taking part. So I played the ace up my sleeve… I tweeted a few pictures of my models and drew on the power of HASHTAG WARMONGERS #warmongers (for those not in the know about such geekery, #warmongers is the go-to hashtag used by wargamers who share pictures of their models, games, advice, tips, rules queries etc… there’s a wealth of cool stuff under that hashtag to share). I just wanted to send a quirky tweet that would make people smile, but also help spread #LoveGorkana

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Suddenly, things start to pick up as this rather odd post begins to stand out from all the ‘normal tweets’ of memes and text. Even Gorkana themselves chime in, revealing that TWO of their guys are fellow wargamers! What are the odds? It never ceases to amaze me that us gamers are everywhere!

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But things really started to heat up when it looked as if someone was cheating and using bots to increase their retweets, gaming the system. Even the Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum PR (a massive and very famous PR agency) and president of the CIPR waded in to show his disapproval (which was all, hilariously, unfolding beneath the pictures of my little Warhammer models!). In the ‘cheaters’ defence, he was only trying to prove a point and it actually provoked an interesting, light-hearted discussion with some nice banter (have a read and share a tweet if you’re interested in such things).

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Already on a high, and more than content with this nice bit of engagement, I then couldn’t believe my eyes when this lovely email came in…. Gorkana (the cheeky monkeys) had sent me a Games Workshop gift voucher! It was such a lovely and unexpected gesture (and unnecessary too!)… but I was more than happy to put it to good use!

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That very same evening, I visited the Games Workshop website knowing exactly what I was going to get. The one thing my Deathwing force was missing… a Dreadnought! And how do I plan to honour my digital benefactors? By naming it after them of course! Meet ‘Brother Gorkana, Venerable Deathwing Dreadnought of the Dark Angel Chapter.’ (luckily, I feel ‘Gorkana’ doesn’t sound too out of place amongst other Dark Angel names like Belial, Nathaniel, Samael, Claudio, Omino etc…).

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But this is merely the beginning of the story… my twitter feed is crammed with work-in-progress pictures of models I’m building and painting. As the #LoveGorkana competition doesn’t close until the end of June, I plan to regularly tweet progress pictures of Brother Gorkana under the hashtag. I can’t wait to share pictures of him in battle – perhaps he’ll be a PR extraordinaire, able to negotiate and diffuse potential conflict by establishing mutual and beneficial goodwill and understanding between the Imperium of Man and her enemies… or perhaps he’ll just smash-face and kick some ass!

Thank you Gorkana!

UPDATE: 5/3/2016

Other projects got in the way (isn’t that always the case?!) but finally Brother Gorkana is built and fully painted! (Including a selection of weaponry)

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