I'm sure by now you've heard that Twitter is getting a face lift, allowing for more information to be available to you with a dual screen look. Twitter has become extremely popular over the years, contributing to a national government election, and allowing fans to "get to know" their favorite celebrities in 140 characters. We may like knowing what our favorite athlete is eating or what our favorite A-lister thought of so-and-so's dress. They may feel a little more special and even more famous knowing they have over 1 million people following them. Twitter is a great tool, in the hands of the right person.
The micro-blogging network could also be detrimental to someone's image. Who knew 140 characters could get you in trouble? More publicists need to pay attention to what their clients are tweeting, including who they're talking to and how they're talking to them. One false "send" and you're on the verge of a public relations nightmare. There have been instances (more like excuses) where questionable tweets surfaced, only to later been deleted or having a statement follow saying "I've been hacked!" What's the deal?
Let's take a look at a few case studies in which big brother (and little brother) has been watching these entertainers:
- Kanye West: I'm a huge fan, but let me leave my bias behind for this post. Kanye "publicly" apologized to Taylor Swift via as the one year anniversary of his "jackassness" was broadcasted for millions to see. He went on a multiple tweet rant about how humble he's been since then. Just imagine if he had Twitter when he did the stunt. He was visibly intoxicated (well, some of his current tweets are #drunkentweets but ones we can enjoy) and who knows what brutal, non-thought-out things he would've said then. Since he's joined Twitter, everyone's been keeping an eye out for what he's going to say next.
- Matt Barnes: Now more famous for being on Basketball Wives rather than being a basketball player, the latest addition to my Los Angeles Lakers clearly skipped Twittiquette class. He failed at "don't broadcast what team you're going on through Twitter before the whole world knows about it", a lesson he should've taken from LeBron. Matt Barnes had announced he was a member of one team, only to have to retract his statement days later and saying "I'm on the Lakers!" Include his poor spelling and grammar, Matt Barnes is a prime example of someone who needs publicist edited tweets before he hits the send button. (I don't even want to mention the suspected spousal abuse; that's another nightmare in itself.)
- John Mayer: Not necessarily a PR nightmare, but John Mayer recently quit Twitter, moving instead over to Tumblr. Leaving behind millions of fans on one network was an odd move, and could potentially harbor hard feelings toward the singer. I, personally, am a little scorned that I won't see his nonsensical analogies anymore on my phone, but I will be following him on Tumblr. It would've been nice if he at least said why he was leaving. He doesn't owe us anything but hey, think about the fans.
- Soulja Boy/Fabolous/Lala/Carmelo Anthony/Kat Stacks: (cue sigh) I rather not get into the antics of self-proclaimed groupie Kat Stacks but she has caused Twitter blow ups between herself and hip hop stars Soulja Boy and Fabolous recently, including exposing some drug use (Soulja Boy + Cocaine). Words were exchanged and even the fans got involved. It was just a mess. She also got some choice words out of Denver Nuggets Carmelo Anthony and his new wife Lala. Celebrities aren't thinking before they're tweeting. The things they put out in the Twitterverse could damage their image for good.
- Reggie Bush: This, I'm sure, was a media nightmare for New York Saints' Reggie Bush, forfeiting his trophy due to some immoral happenings while he was a USC Trojan, but what was not a nightmare was the fact that he did not break the news on Twitter, rather, he indicated he was making the right decision and thanking/apologizing to fans for the whole situation. Why can't more celebrities take note from this young man?
There's so many more I could name, but it's just a downer after a certain point. These people are in the eyes of so many people. Tweets are being saved for the Library of Congress, remember? They can, and will, be used against you! I realize everyone is human and we all make mistakes, but imagine the negative PR they're bringing upon themselves. My advice: think before you tweet, spell check before you tweet, and do not engage and non-friendly fire.