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Celebrity Social Media Managers Can Eliminate Tabloids and Gossip Rags

January 7, 2014
Facebook Verification Scam

How can we rid ourselves of the tabloids? The answer is easier than you think– These are my thoughts.

The work I do has started to take its momentum and management firms are starting to realize the power of social media.

I think the best example of this would be the folks that worked for the late Paul Walker. Who call themselves #TeamPaulWalker. With their insightful knowledge of digital media they were able to take a story that could have gone off the rails and although it was very tragic, they were able to control the narrative and give the grieving fans truth, respect and an avenue for their grief. They were the first one’s to confirm Paul’s death, via twitter and Facebook. They also gave a correct channel for grief, with Paul’s charity Reach Out World Wide. Of course there were vultures about his death, but I (being one who took it rather hard) was extremely impressed on their ability to give the family privacy while also giving his fans the time and place to grieve.

Ultimately, I believe that my work can be described as controlling narratives. In my last post I spoke about celebrity cloned accounts and cat fishing. I want to make sure you understand why I do take these things so seriously. If i am working for a celebrity or a few, the goal is to promote, engage and protect. The days of investigative journalism are over. Those who call themselves journalists, use  conjecture and untrustworthy, poorly vetted  sources as basis for their news. Rumor has become news. It’s an uphill battle for publicists these days who don’t know how to stop this nonsense before it becomes news.

Gossip sites, that I won’t even give the pleasure of linking to, scan social networking sites that celebrities are on, interpret what was published suddenly it’s news these! I have to say that it’s rather infuriating that most of these places, (and they are now, Mostly,  online blogs) don’t even call publicists for confirmation or quote. The words that reputable media outlets find terrifying, LIBEL and SLANDER don’t seem to bother these places because they have often been immune to these sorts of lawsuits. It can be said that there are also sites that take a press release and report it as news without vetting the information as well. What we used to call journalism, is a form of Voyeurism.

Back to my point, there are some amazingly talented “confidence men and women”  a.k.a. Con Artists that are VERY good at convincing the online world that they are someone that they are not. I could put up countless Facebook examples, but I won’t give the pleasure of linking to them. These people will post old photos of people, they will post statuses that are false, put themselves in “relationships” with those some of these celebrities don’t even know. Thus ensuring that rumors will find their way to some gossip site. Not actually realizing that, yes, they are celebrities and that being in the public eye is a part of a wonderful job that they have as artists, but some of these things are damaging and untrue. Not one person should have to fight a rumor that some unknown person, hiding behind a keyboard has initiated.

One example I have seen is something like this: A set romance happens with two main characters of a very popular show, also one that is extremely popular in social networking platforms, fans are very engaged with this show. Their relationship is not a secret and it does last for quite a while but one of them cheats on the other and they break up. Celebrity breakups seems to be an American fascination these days- but because they are professionals, they don’t let these events create cracks in the shows foundation. It is the press that causes the chaos – “she hates him” “he wants her back desperately and she says no way!” “he makes her cry during promotional events”, “HE cheated” and then when all seems quiet on the home front, the storm has passed– here come the rumors of reconciling, when absolutely NONE of these statements are true. But the catch 22 that tabloids exploit is that in order to set the record straight, they have to talk about something that they are avid be kept private. It’s a form of extortion.

Where does this information come from? Social networking accounts that nobody can know for sure, outside of the platform itself whether that is a true account or if it is a verified account, whether it’s been hacked or not.

Arianna Grande is a good example of this, her very popular Facebook page, with millions of followers was hacked and someone maliciously posted that she was addicted to cocaine and was going into rehab. While hacking is a day to day problem with celebrity accounts, most hacks do not perpetrate such venom towards the person they are hacking. While it may seem like just a blip to most of us, we do not have jobs that are based off public perception of us. Ariana Grande has a VERY young fan base and I am sure there were more than a few parents who didn’t want their kids, listening to the music of a drug addict. Who knows if she lost fans, and future income because of this. In all likelihood, she did. The injustice of this is that not one person has seemed to be held accountable for it.

There have lately been, very lately, people arrested for account hacking, cloning and some serious jail time has been handed out but these people are flagrant abusers and many of them stalkers who do pose physical danger to the celebrities that they are impersonating.

I believe that we are responsible for getting rid of these catfishers, to get rid of the cloned accounts. I know that celebrities AND managers don’t have the time to dedicate to eliminating every new imposter that pops up. But it’s something that has to stop. As a mother myself, now that it’s common practice to pretend to be a celebrity, I am greatly concerned about these people who feel the need to create such  rouse. We were all warned against the “Myspace Pedophiles” but did logic go out the window when the public moved from Myspace to Facebook? That those who want to believe something, will do anything they are told if they think it’s a celebrity. I have seen people use fake accounts to ask for money, to be outright hateful and sexually graphic in their words and I am sure if I just googled it, I could find someone who was taken advantage of by someone pretending to be a celebrity is a bad bad way. This should be a responsibility.

Dealing with Facebook, Twitter and all the other platforms is time consuming and frustrating  but it needs to be done it requires paperwork and sometimes it requires an attorney– it’s an impossible task to ask of someone who is on set 16 hours a day, not to mention that sometimes you have to come down hard one people and thats something we want to keep our celebrities from doing. ‘s I hope that anybody reading this realizes that statement “with great power comes great responsibility”

It’s a new age, and as long as its possible, it’s easy and almost accepted to impersonate another person, someone in the public eye, at this point in time with the MTV show “Catfish” I know there are folks who are trying to get on reality TV by impersonation.  There has to be people who fight against this trend.. In the end, we can go to sleep at night knowing that our clients face and name isn’t going to be responsible for a fan being hurt or killed or molested.

Snoop Dogg built an empire on the social media knowledge he had. He knew even though it goes against logic, the more you engage with your fans, the more privacy you actually get. Fan’s don’t have that need to read these gossip rags because they are part of that celebrities world. His ability to make his fans feel like family, made him a very rich man. He didn’t do it by himself, he had someone like me, who was able to make his social media life a full time job. To not just promote but engage and interact with fans, answer questions, send behind the scene videos, respond to tweets with his words and actions just letting someone else do the work that working actors/musicians etc don’t have time to do.

It is my firm belief that if every manager that hires a publicist also hired someone to be a part of the clients “entourage” and  manage, full time, their social network– it would be the end of tabloids and gossip rags.  Fans just want to get to know celebrities, and as it stands right now these magazines and blogs are the closest they get.  Interacting with  fans on a digital level provides an infinite amount of intimacy between celebrities and their fans which leads to far greater satisfaction than any gossip magazine, paparazzi, or those who hide behind keyboards cow could ever do.

I started doing this a long time ago, and social media 2o years ago and have been at the forefront of every evolution of it and though some younger firms and celebrities get it, the majority have no idea the power the are passing up when they don’t use social networks as they should.

People can call themselves old school, or afraid of giving up their privacy. Two or three years ago, that might have been okay, but almost everything that a person knows and learns about celebrities comes from the internet, Proper digital management can change the trajectory of a career. If they don’t know you, if they can’t find you, how will they know they want to hire you.  And by not exploring every possible avenue, they loose in fan loyalty, reputation management tools as well as and crisis management. They also will always be on a tabloid radar.

If anyone has inquiries please feel free to get in contact with me through twitter @erinloliver or at ErinLOliver@me.com

Side Note:

Happy 2014 to everyone!

I am hoping that this year brings the good fortune of going from freelance to working for a management firm like Digital Media Management, Chrome PR, and well there are many different amazing firms out there that are on top of today’s public relations and marketing trends that I would enjoy working for. Whether they are in Los Angeles, New York City, London, and even the very film industry popular; Atlanta, New Orleans, Austin or even Vancouver. My gypsy blood is itching to leave New Mexico and get back to work.

One Comment leave one →
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