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Virgin Megastores Launch First-of-Its-Kind Social Media Online Newsroom

Virgin Megastores Reach Out to Online Audience With a 'Mash-Up' of Company News, Podcasting and Blogging

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 09/05/07 -- Executives at Virgin Megastores are reaching out to the millions of online Bloggers, shoppers and members of the social web, as the company announced today the launch of the Megastore's Social Mashupmedia Newsroom, (SMN). The site located at is a first of its kind as it's taken a typical online newsroom and evolved it into a 'Mashup' of the best in streaming video, and audio podcasting, social bookmarks, and Blog content along with the traditional elements of a company press room. Consumers and media alike can navigate the Mashup to give their own feedback to top Virgin executives, access event listings, celebrity photos, and gossip. When they log on they can read recent press releases, executive bios, and news about Virgin Megastores, and even fill out Virgin's Loyalty V.I.P. Program application from home. The site also will connect later this fall with Virgin's new retail site where consumers can shop for the best in DVDs, fashion, games, electronics and music.

"Virgin always strives to be more innovative and we know that reaching out to the consumer and the media online needs to be quick, entertaining and informative," explains Dee Mc Laughlin, VP of Marketing, Virgin Entertainment Group, North America. "We searched long and hard to find the right agency that understood our needs and could take us into this realm in a unique and innovative way. We chose to work with SJ Communications and NewMediAwake on the development of our Social Media Newsroom because of their strong knowledge base about bringing the Virgin brand to life online."

The SMN site hosts a "Mashup" of social and multimedia content with a traditional online newsroom that will provide journalists, Bloggers and entertainment fans with a site to go to, to find podcasts, photos from Virgin's in-store events, podcasts from Virgin Recommends artists, gossip, Blogs about celebrity news, and the VirginMegaSphere -- a Blog with personal insight into Virgin and the entertainment business written by Virgin's VP of Marketing, Dee Mc Laughlin. The site will also be a quick way for journalists and consumers to quickly find out the latest Virgin news, YouTube content, executive bios and lists of upcoming Virgin events and contests. Photos and videos for the Mashup are pulled from Virgin-sponsored sources, as well as user-generated content in popular social sites like YouTube and Flickr.

"We knew that Virgin was looking for a new way to interact with both their customers and journalists, in a quick and fun way. Virgin's really breaking new ground with this site as there is no other one like this," explains Krysty Ronchetti, Owner, SJ Communications. "We created the Mashup as a place for press, shoppers and Bloggers to shop online, check out the latest in video and audio casts, interact with Virgin executives directly, and find out breaking Virgin news."

The SMN Social Mashup is just one of Virgin's latest changes. This fall Virgin will also launch a new website at that will offer customers a full catalog in music, DVD and game products, as well as fashion, electronics and accessories.

"We're investing strongly into the Virgin Megastores and we have some big changes on the horizon. Along with the new Social Media Newsroom and the new website, we're also considering investing in an exciting and original pop-up retail plan to open up other markets in California and New York territories, and we're continuing to expand our customer V.I.P. Loyalty Program," states Mc Laughlin.

The brand's V.I.P. Loyalty Program, launched just nine months ago in just seven store locations, has already signed up 150,000 members. The V.I.P. program is also a first of its kind in North America and offers its members special privileges such as: trips, backstage concert passes, celebrity meet and greets, and deep discounts on selected store products.


Virgin Entertainment Group is the world's leading multi-channel music and entertainment retailer, providing customers with a range of superior entertainment experiences through a family of integrated Virgin-branded businesses. The "category killer" Virgin Megastores and Virgin Megastore Online at are integral parts of a strategy to provide entertainment customers with what they want, how they want it, and when they want it. For more information, or to check out the location of the nearest Virgin retail, go to or

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