Social Media and Celebrity Encounters

When I was a child, I can remember taking the time to write a letter to Alyssa Milano.  Who’s the Boss was one of my favorite shows and I just idolized her.  Back then when you tried to reach out to a celebrity via mail, the odds of ever getting a response were slim to none. And actually, the odds that the celebrity ever even saw your letter were probably pretty slim too.

Today, with the advent of social media and with social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, things have changed. Not only are we able to “peek” into the worlds of celebrities by becoming a Fan of their Facebook Page or following them on Twitter, but we can also reach out to them in a way we were never able to do in the past.

Last night I was laying on the sofa watching bad TV when actor Sean Hayes Tweeted that GRIMM was about to come on NBC.  Now this is a show that I had not yet seen, but had heard a lot about. I quickly clicked over to NBC and decided, “What the hell, I’m going to respond to his Tweet.”  Thinking nothing more of it, imagine my surprise when a few minutes later, I got the following alert in my inbox:


Sean Hayes responded to my Tweet……….

No longer are celebrities unreachable. No longer are they only accessible through cable network talk shows or entertainment magazines.  Have a question for Chelsea Handler? Tweet her.  What to know where the band Cowboy Mouth loves to eat  in New Orleans? Post your question to their Fan Page.  Odds are, you’ll get a response.  Oh, and think celebrities aren’t monitoring the social media space for mentions? The smart ones are.

Here’s another example:

Back in August of 2010 E! Network debuted a new TV series called The Spin Crowd. It followed Jonathan Cheban and his public relations business in LA.  As a PR professional I was excited for the premeire. Unfortunately as I watched the first episode, rather than pride, all I felt was embarrasment. Embarrassment for the way that they were protraying my field and the people in it.  Like many, I took to Twitter to share my frustrations. Not directing my comments to anyone in particiular, but just saying how horrible the show was.   Much to his credit, Jonathan must of had a search set up on Twitter for “Spin Crowd” because within moments he responded to my Tweet.  While I still loathed the program, I was impressed with his social media savvy.

In this day and age, celebrities have to think of themselves as Brands and the smart ones will take advantage of social media applications and the ability they provide to engage with fans (brand advocates).

All this has me thinking…… perhaps I should try Tweeting Alyssa Milano now ;-)