The Irish Bank Robber and Facebook

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When the renowned Irish American bank robber, Willie Sutton was arrested having been caught after one of his many bank heists he famously gave the following response to journalists who asked him why he kept robbing banks, “Because, that’s where the money was!”

Willie Sutton & Facebook

Willie Sutton & Facebook

Willie Sutton, also known as “Slick Willie” and “Willie the Actor” (he was a master of disguises) was born in Brooklyn in 1901 and lived till 1980. He managed to rob 100 banks in his 79 year career, spending much of this in prison after many captures. Toward the end of his life he ended up fronting an advertising campaign for a bank who were introducing card ID’s with the person’s picture on it.

Besides being a notorious bank robber his quote earned him everlasting fame as his surname is now often quoted to refer to any situation where something is clearly “obvious”. In medical circles in particular his name comes up as “Suttons Law” to describe a situation where a diagnosis is exactly that and accountants even use it when talking about Activity Based Costing, “The Willie Sutton Rule”!

In the business of Marketing & PR we often get resistance when we recommend to clients that they should be engaging pro-actively with users on Facebook. We get the arguments about not liking computers, not having enough time, that all users are youngsters and generally not knowing how to use Facebook and not seeing the relevance to them.

Worldwide users have reached 550 Million with the figure in Ireland just over 1.4 million. Of these over 700,000 are over the age of 30. Many of these are your customers!

On average people are using Facebook about 25 minutes per day. Facebook has individual users as well as many businesses who have their own “business pages” and are interacting and influencing Facebook users on a daily basis. Starbucks, the famous American chain of coffee stores have over 12 million people signed up as fans.

The next time we talk about the relevance of Facebook with a client we might just quote the famous bank robber, Willie .. after all it’s very obvious!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications

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