The high streaming trend of social networking sites has taken the world by storm; especially the entertainment world.
Businesses and other professional entities use social networking sites as a means of advertisement and a way to connect to their target markets in ways that appeal to them. The professional world has really gotten the hang of the whole social networking thing, and do well with it… For the most part.
Celebrities have also made their mark in the social networking world; using twitter and Facebook to promote things like music, movies, and athletic events. Fans log on to these sites to find out the latest about their favorite entertainer and what the next move they make will be. Social networking has given Celebs a lot of freedom to be themselves and allow fans to get to know the “real them;” but maybe it’s becoming TOO real.
Some may not be familiar with the all to real, Charlie Sheen rant:
Read more on how Sheen’s rant led too him ultimately being fired from the sitcom “Two and a Half Men.”
Which brings me to my point of celebs and their freedom to promote, or taint their image via social network sites. As if Sheen’s PR agents didn’t have enough of a mess to clean up, he goes to twitter and somewhat confirms the allegations of him being completely out of his mind. This may not have done too much good for his image in the eyes of new job prospects, but it definitely did a lot of good for his popularity ratings. Sheen set a Guinness world record for the fastest user to hit 1 million followers on Twitter.
In this instance, taking the “I’m completely out of my mind” route worked in Sheen’s favor, and it’s hard to tell whether his PR people advised him on what to do via social networking, but efforts were made to clean up Sheen’s mess. His mishap with the “lady of the night,” that ended in a hotel disturbance and allegations of cocaine use by Sheen, may have been one of the biggest image taint-ers, but Sheen’s spokesperson, according to Radaronline.com, tried to put a Band-Aid on the situation by claiming that Sheen had an allergic reaction to some medication and that’s what caused him to verbally assault the woman and accuse her of stealing his wallet. This story may have been believable had Sheen not been in and out of rehab with many allegations of drug and alcohol use; the woman’s profession didn’t help any either.
Another attempt at salvaging the professional image of Sheen, was having him speak out after one of his relapses. According to Chapter 16, pg 333 in THINK Public Relations, a wise and safe thing to do in this situation would have been to prepare a statement to explain Sheen’s misconduct. Having him speak out puts him at risk of allowing the reporters and editors to be able to twist his words to create more of a frenzy.
Although Sheen remains out of a job, the “Unemployed Winner” remains at the top of the Twitter popularity list with more that 4 million followers.
So my question is; was this a good PR move on Sheen’s part and the part of his PR agents? Although he lost the leading role on one of the most popular sitcoms, he is still the topic of many blogs and at the end of many hash-tags. Although he may not be making the most money, if any, he is still relevant. One of the PR core values is to act in the best interest of the client or employer.So have his PR agents effectively done their job?
Although this may have worked a little for Sheen, is it safe to say that “keeping it real” via social network sites may not be the best image booster for other celebs; especially when they expect to be employed? I think it’s safe to say that “keeping it real” will get you followers, but will it keep you employed?