Environmental research group scrambles as Internet calls for ‘Boaty McBoatface’

The U.K. nonprofit organization turned to the Internet to name its new research vessel. PR pros didn’t expect the popularity—nor that a silly name would rise to the top.

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Most social media and PR pros know the risks of a branded hashtag campaign, but that caution also applies to online audience polls.

The Natural Environment Research Council is learning that lesson. It recently turned to the Internet to crowdsource a name for its newest polar research vessel:

Find out about the science that happens on our polar ships https://t.co/cB8BVEw0pI #NameOurShip #BoatyMcBoatface pic.twitter.com/WOIxfwGJxA

— NERC (@NERCscience) March 20, 2016

“Shackleton. Endeavour. Falcon. These are just some of the names suggested for the UK’s next world-class polar research ship as part of a campaign launched today for the public to put forward names for the state-of-the-art vessel to be built in the North West of England,” NERC said in its press release announcement.

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