To the untrained eye Amanda Holden, Katherine Jenkins, and Daniel Thomas share very little in common. Closer inspection tells another story though, one held together by use, exploitation and misjudgement of social media’s might.
To begin on a positive note, Smoking Gun PR staff have been working hard on the Kumho Tyres Cash for Causes campaign of late. £100,000 is up for grabs, with a public voting system deciding on which organisations will get a share in the spoils. Clearly online networking is playing a huge part in the distribution of wealth then, but it’s amazing just how significant a status update can be.
Cue British TV stalwart Amanda Holden, who summoned the force of her 1,218,404 Twitter followers to take the Bude Sea Pool in Cornwall to the top of the competition leaderboard. That’s not bad, considering the relative obscurity of said open air public swimming facility in the eyes of most Britons, and the nationwide scope of the campaign, evidencing the power of a strong influencer.
Of course the Katherine Jenkins mystery is a very different story, but one no less indicative of the way in which social media, in this instance Twitter, can be used to refocus the spotlight. The 32 year old opera singer took to the platform repeatedly in the hope of ‘clearing her name’ following rumours she and David Beckham had a little too much knowledge of one another. The weird thing being, nobody heard about the scandal before the accused adulteress decided to contest it.
From where I’m sitting there’s a small sceptic somewhere close by who, above the din of the gossip mill, can just be heard screaming something about an attention seeking PR push. Of course we’ll never know what the real catalyst for this bizarre denial was, but there’s no doubt more of the public will have heard her name now than had at the beginning of summer.
In contrast few could accuse Welsh footballer Daniel Thomas of being anything other than honest when he came unstuck following his own 140 character quips. As we reported on our blog recently, his comments regarding Olympic aquatic types Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield were branded as homophobic, and nearly landed the Premier League man in court, if not for the QC deciding the jibe wasn’t grossly offensive, just stupid, and really only meant for friends and family.
The case has led the Director of Public Prosecutions to set about drafting guidelines for acceptable use of online networks, a result of perpetual examples that could also have been used in this article. So we’ll all soon know what can and can’t be said, though it’s unlikely to affect the number of scandals. What’s important, though, is that despite ongoing speculation such technologies have peaked, social media remains a tool of enormous power that can be used for significant gains, just so long as you’re aware of all the potential consequences.