Friday, March 4, 2011

Celebrity-Style Public Relations - What Charlie Sheen Can Teach Us About Personal Branding

   I really wanted to write a negative spiel about Charlie Sheen- it's just so bizarre.  Forgetting, for a moment, his recurring drug/alcohol/anger issues... This is a guy who lives with not one, but two, young girlfriends he calls "goddesses".  And Sheen is now embroiled in a child custody dispute.  On top of that, Charlie's essentially been kicked out of his $1.8 million per episode TV sitcom job. Sheen's been spouting off about the "Tiger Blood" running through his veins and says he's addicted to "Winning" (whatever that means).  Is it any wonder that Charlie's publicist just quit?

     But wait a minute.  I just googled Charlie Sheen and he's at the top of the charts with a bullet.  A couple of days ago, Sheen joined the Twitterverse.  His profile states, and I quote, 

"Born Small... Now Huge... Winning... Bring it...! (unemployed winner...)"

     And he's apparently set the record for attracting one million followers in just 25 hours and 17 minutes.  As I write this Mr. Sheen has 1,587,548 friends.  For the record, that number includes me.  I sent Charlie a tweet asking for comment.  I'm still waiting.  But with enough friends to fill every major league baseball stadium it may take Charlie a little while to get back to me.  (By my count the total seating for MLB ballparks is 1,309,961)  Oddly enough, Charlie has only friended 26 of his followers.  I hope he adds my name to the short list- because this blog post really needs a comment from that Tiger-blooded bad-boy actor.

     A lot of people are convinced that Charlie is a total psycho- and he just may be one.  But there's no doubt that he's a genius at generating PR buzz.  He's appeared live on NBC's today show almost every day this week.  I imagine People Magazine is working on a special edition featuring a "Charlie Angels" centerfold.  As I understand it, Sheen may turn the twitter thing into an advertising-based revenue stream.  Everybody is talking about Charlie.  Everybody has an opinion.  His Q-rating is taking off.  Maybe Charlie doesn't need a publicist after all.

     And for those of you keeping score at home it took me about 90 minutes to research and write this post.  Most of that time was spent adding up the seating capacity for all those ballparks.  And in that 90 minutes, Charlie Sheen's list of Twitter friends rose to 1,598,687.  That's an increase of 11,139.  By any standard those numbers are P.R.  Pretty Ridiculous.

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