Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ghostwriting Tweets: Part of PR's Future

It’s 140 characters. It’s so few characters. If you need a ghostwriter for that, I feel sorry for you.

- Shaquille O'Neil

Noam Cohen, "When Stars Twitter, a Ghost May Be Lurking," New York Times, March 26, 2009

Basketball star O'Neil is reflecting the "purist" notion that many athletes take toward the use of Twitter, a microblogging tool that allows people to post messages 140 characters in length. And while certain celebrities agree with O'Neil, others have people writing in their name to the thousands, even hundreds of thousands, who follow their "tweets."

While many online commentators think the Twitter ghost-writing practice is in bad faith, defenders of the practice insist that stars are brands with personas. Just as companies have twitter feeds that show their products well, so celebrity brands should have tweets that reflect a public-relations approach. The point is reflected in comments by a business partner of rapper 50 Cent, who does not write tweets signed by him: "He doesn’t actually use Twitter,” Chris Romero said of 50 Cent, “but the energy of it is all him.”

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