Musings about digital communications, PR, social media & life…

Posts tagged ‘pr’

Social Media + Celebrity: Taming the Wild, Wild West

2011 was a year of epic celebrity engagement on social networks. Lady Gaga became the undisputed queen of Twitter and fans around the world follow her tweets; waiting with bated breath the see if the twitter queen will reply to or retweet their digital adorations.

Taming the Wild West on April Lynne Scott's WordPress blogSocial media cannot be denied as a viable and effective channel for celebrity branding. Enter WhoSay, a new social platform already boasting more than 900 celebrity members. WhoSay aggregates content from a celeb’s social media accounts on his or her WhoSay Profile. The content on the site is copyrighted by the celebrity making it a useful way to disseminate statements, photographs and other breaking news. The Associated Press has recently formed a partnership with WhoSay so celebs can license content directly to the media through the new platform.

Social applications like WhoSay are popping up everywhere giving celebrities even more reason to engage through these new media channels… and they are. Hollywood’s A-List stars (Justin Timberlake, Bono & Lady Gaga to name a few) are devoting time & money to social business while celebs like Michael J. Fox are devoting their use of social media to drive awareness to causes like Parkinson’s research and other charitable organizations. Like any other business in today’s world celebrities know that they have to embrace new media to survive.

Even with these positive advances in the social world for celebs, 2011 was also been a year of epic celebrity failure on social media. Celebrities can’t stop themselves from spewing an inappropriate social stream of consciousness resulting in bad PR and a big mess for their publicists and managers. Celebs are using social media the same way the rest of us do, but their reach is far greater… and the damage far more costly.

From the novice celebrity tweeter to the Twitter-maestro himself Ashton Kutcher, celebrities are guilty of sending the wrong message. These social faux pas have proven costly both in terms of their finances and their reputations.

Social Media is PR in an instant. Celebrities like Ashton Kutcher have realized their brand can be damaged by a single tweet and have taken themselves of the social game. As much as fans and media crave these intimate, candid moments, social tools have to be used properly and with the same care and discretion given the other areas of their careers to be beneficial. What we must understand is that a celebrity’s brand can be damaged just as much by inappropriate management of their social brand as it can by handing over the management of that social brand to a handler.

Celebrity social media Paparazzi April Lynne Scott WordPress blogThe goal of social interaction is to connect with media, fans and friends and create stronger relationships, increase fan engagement and keep the star relevant  n the media. These social relationships will not be effective if they are not delivered (at least partly) in the celeb’s own voice. The celebrity’s personal interaction must be carefully balanced with those of the handlers & managers monitoring their social channels. So, how can celebrities and PR professionals walk this fine line?

I have to wonder why celebrity social media has been left unsettled and ungoverned – dangerous & deadly – much like the wild west. Celebrity managers and publicists would never consider leaving any other part of a client’s business unplanned or without strategy. Social media is no different.

Social media is a real, viable, critically important channel for the world of entertainment and it’s time we start treating it as such. Fans & media already understand that managers & publicists play a large role in every aspect of the celeb’s brand… why not this one? We must be well-versed in the tools of new media. We must be completely aware of the risks involved and prepared to handle the consequences in real-time. News is made and reputations are damaged in a social instant. It’s high noon and there will be a shootout. Are you armed with a plan?

Advertisements

PR is dead and so is Social Media

How you – yes, you – can raise them from the dead

The new year is right around the corner and it’s time to get in touch with our healing powers. How many times do we have to rehash this argument anyway?  PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) is hurriedly connecting life-support by attempting to revive and redefine PR. Seriously? PR has had more lives than Felix the cat and, in fact, does anyone really care if PR in its original form has to die a terrible death?

I’m just going to say it – PR is not dead.  But, it must reinvent itself. Some believe PR has been reinvented through social media… as social media. But let’s get one thing clear – New PR is not Social Media. And even if it was, unfortunately, social media is also, well, dead. Social media too has run its course – it has been pulled away from its “social” roots and is also in need of its own resurrection.  Dear friends, let us not mourn for the loss of PR and social media for we are the guilty. We have turned social media into no more than a tool to shove our products, marketing messages and opinions down the throats of our once loyal friends and followers. And because we haven’t been good stewards of the medium the relationships are dying and so is the medium.

What happened to the conversations?  Where are the relationships?  Having a Facebook page or a Twitter account just isn’t going to cut it – we are going to have to work harder to add value, create a buzz and form relationships (just like in real life).   Social media is, after all, building relationships through meaningful conversation and in essence being “social”. The same goes for “public” relations – creating valuable and loyal relationships with your public. You can’t have a conversation with something that’s dead. So, how are You breathing life back into this beast?

As publicists it is time we look forward into 2012 with this as our #1 resolution – the breath of life: Integrate.

But how?  First, Stop holding onto the past. The traditional foundations of PR and marketing are not being called into question here – we had to know the rules in order to break them… or expand them. So let’s start expanding.  Second, we need to stop fighting with each other… this traditional vs. new media tug-o-war. Can’t we all just get along? Give up the fight! Integrate! (Yes, that was two exclamations in a row.)

We have to begin working hand in hand with each other. Marketing, sales, advertising, analytics, development, communications – online and traditional… It doesn’t matter if you’re a small start-up or a publicly held corporation, the road to success is paved with integration. Sharing is caring and this year is the year. Just do it!

And while we’re at it learn to do it better and faster (this is resolution #2) – time is of the essence.  Publicists and marketers no longer have the luxury of time. The future of PR, marketing and media is real-time. Think, react, respond, relate – instantly… or risk being left for dead.

We will not mourn for you, beloved traditional PR and young Social Media, but instead we will celebrate your resurrection and transformation into something new and beautiful – something loved and nurtured. In 2012 let’s all resolve to evaluate, manage, communicate, execute, socialize, strategize, analyze, identify, engage, market, and disseminate as we all join hands and sing kumbaya… together. From social media to multimedia, PR to marketing, mobile to print, SEO, CRM, web, e-mail and  everything in between. can you feel the love?

%d bloggers like this: