Twitter: The Next PR Agent?

Can Twitter, with its 140-characters-per-tweet limit, be the next celebrity PR agent?

Okay, let’s look at the facts.

1. Currently, there are approximately half a billion Twitter users worldwide.
2. Twitter users send 175 million tweets a day.
3. The most popular events on Twitter generate tens of thousands of tweets every SECOND.

Judging from these statistics, I’d say traditional PR agents better look out because Twitter might just take over their jobs.

I’m sure most of you are aware of Kanye West’s twitter rant that happened last month. (Here’s a link to an article about it if you didn’t know.) The internationally-renowned hip-hop artist and fashion designer started a Twitter tirade that caught the attention of his six million followers, which basically meant non-followers of his caught wind of it too. (That’s social media for you.) West tweeted about his new clothing line, and went on to reveal plans for his new company, DONDA, named after his late mother. The rapper might have gone on a Twitter overload – with over 70 tweets within three hours – but it definitely caught people’s attention, especially on the news of him planning to launch DONDA.

Since Kanye West is such a huge celebrity, his tweets about DONDA inadvertently gained him a lot of attention. Even to the point where DONDA trended on Twitter. This goes to show how powerful Twitter (and social media, in general) can be. If West had gone the traditional way of releasing a press release on his plans for the new company, it would still have got a lot of attention from the world, but probably not as much attention as what Twitter has done.

This isn’t to say that PR companies are going to be out of jobs in the next few years. A publicity stunt like this can only be successful if one has a huge star reputation like Kanye West. Celebrities like Lady GaGa and Rihanna may follow the same path as Kanye West; using Twitter as a publicity platform. However, if a relatively unknown musician who does not have millions of followers on Twitter tries to adopt the same method, it will most likely backfire. In this case, just stick to the PR companies and let them do their jobs.


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