Update: Kutcher Twitter Million

18 04 2009

Ashton Kutcher used conventional advertising, billboards to be precise, to gain victory over CNN in his twitter sprint to a million followers.  Lamar Advertising, in a PR coup for the traditional ad network, delivered free of charge “Follow Ashton Kutcher” outdoor ads across its 1,133 digital billboards. 

With Kutcher appearing on Oprah within hours of passing the million mark, this seems like a carefully co-ordinated integrated PR campaign.  Even twitter has been fingerered with the accusation that they made it hard for users to unfollow @aplusk (Kutcher’s twitter handle).





Kutcher Beats CNN to Twitter Million

17 04 2009

Actor Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) became the first twitter user to achieve a million (1,000,000) followers at 6.12 UTC today.  He narrowly beat CNN breaking news (@cnnbrk) which had overtaken the Barack Obama twitter account as the world’s most popular in the last few months.  CNN became the second account with a million followers just under half an hour later . Both users had been heavily promoting their race to a million, Kutcher using UStream.tv and CNN using their own broadcast channel.  The Huffington Post carried a live counter and follower graph that looked like something from a US presidential election.

This milestone confirms a number of observations about twitter as a ‘channel’.

  • On-line popularity is linked to off-line popularity – both Kutcher and CNN are hardly unknown.
  • Twitter can be a broadcast channel.  It is neither the principal function nor does it reflect twitter’s flexibilty but if enough people subscribe to a feed you can ‘broadcast’ information and links. 
  • Twitter works as a news feed – lots of traditional news meda are bulding large follower numbers. Group them together and you have a powerful customisable news channnel.
  • Twitter is now firmly part of the celebrity PR portfolio.

For those that say that twitter is just this year’s social web fad it’s not about to fizzle out just yet.





Celebrities, Stars and their New PR

5 02 2009

Five months ago I posted a piece called The New Twitterati on PR Media Blog.   It was inspired by my discovery that tennis player Andrew Murray @andy_murray  had started to talk to his fans via Twitter.  This was long before  Stephen Fry @stephenfry  or Johnny-come-lately, Jonathan Ross @wossy had started to eulogise about the microblog fad.  It is clear now that Andy was blazing a trail.  I suggested at the time that we should “stand by for a rush to join the new ‘Twitterati’.  It won’t be long before we have a flood of singers, sporting heroes and stars of the screen, sharing stuff”.   That rush is turning into a deluge.   Stephen Fry is the third most popular person on Twitter and Hollywood couple Demi Moore @mrskutcher  and Ashton Jutcher @aplusk signed up a couple of weeks ago.   Tour de France hero Lance Arrmstrong @lancearmstrong is just outside the top ten most popular and Britney’s entourage fill out the 140 charaters for her…although she claims to do a few herself.    Even legendary crooner and definite non Gen-Y-er Neil Diamond @NeilDiamond is hanging out.

Twitter only really works for those that use it themselves and engage directly.  It works best if it is used as a conversation channel in the way that Fry uses it not simply as a broadcast tool (take note DJ Chris Moyles). 

What is fascinating is that it provides a real route for stars to talk to their fans – direct.  No PR people or journalists in between.  They can do it right there with no advice.   Some will do it brilliantly and use the medium to boost their profile.  Others?  Well…there may be a few egg shells to be delicately traversed and even the odd banana skin.   I can’t wait.








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