Tag Archives: Glee

#Oscarfail: Twitter’s Impact on Live Broadcasts

by Amanda Coppock

Five years ago, if you were to say you wanted to “tweet,” the person you were talking to would probably think you were crazy. As pervasive as Twitter is today, five years ago it was nonexistent. When Jack Dorsey launched Twitter in 2006, chances are he never imagined that it would have such an impact on traditional media. Now, people tweet simultaneously while watching their favorite shows, and those on the Twitter-verse can find out who won every Oscar Award without even turning on the tube. Most importantly, Twitter is changing how brands interact with their publics.

Many television fans are shifting back to watching shows in real time, rather than watching a recording at a more convenient time. Twitter supplements the viewing of many popular shows by allowing fans to follow the conversation about episode happenings.

Glee is perhaps one of the best examples of how Twitter is effecting television viewing. “People feel like they have to watch the show while it’s going on because the community is tweeting about the show and the characters are tweeting as the show’s happening so [they have to] watch it in real time,” said Twitter CEO Dick Costolo in an interview for the Consumer Electronics Show. With characters who tweet while the episode airs, Glee creates a new level of interaction for viewers. Twitter creates buzz before, during and after each episode of Glee.

With the popularity of social media, anyone can become a critic of any and every event. While increased interaction can certainly help brands, it also poses a danger. Everyone can and will comment on the things they don’t like. Credibility or journalistic training is no longer needed for a comment to be taken to heart by the public.

The Oscar Awards took advantage of the increased conversation that Twitter provides. Its Twitter handle, @Oscar_awards, was used throughout the evening to tweet winners. While this tactic was useful for people like me with little time to watch award sagas, the takeaway from the Twitter-sphere was that the show itself was not at all entertaining. With hashtags like #Oscarfail trending during the show, this new media became a tool for fans to express their dislike with the famed awards show.

CNN published an article based on the tweets about the Oscars. In this article, one line that stood out was: “Richard Robbins, director of Social Innovation at [AT&T], tweeted that the show’s producers might consider tuning in to Twitter and other sites in the future to gauge how the show is playing and make necessary changes if needed.”

While Robbins may not have meant this as a serious idea, he makes a valid point. Twitter could very well change the way of live broadcasts. It would simply be good business to change directions with a live broadcast when things like #Oscarfail begin trending.

A key part of public relations is understanding how the public responds to your brand. Twitter is more than a new tool to reach people; it is a way to monitor and predict what will happen to your brand. Social media, for many, is the primary source of news. It is critical for brands to monitor and participate in the discussion on Twitter.

Twitter is often used to help the public feel more connected to a brand, but it can even be used to quickly learn about and lessen the effects of a crisis. On the Blast Media blog, Megan Giannini wrote, “Recently, some of the world’s biggest brands have faced crises… in communication. It is understood that brands cannot necessarily predict a crisis like an oil spill, brake malfunctions or public outcry on privacy settings within a social network–but regardless of unforeseen crises, companies should be prepared to take quick and effective action.”

Twitter’s ability to connect directly with the public has the potential to give it a higher credibility than traditional methods. If the public feels that a brand is taking the time to connect with them on an individual basis, a crisis can cease much faster than it would with a basic news release or company statement.

With the many uses of social media, there is no way for news to come only from traditional media. By incorporating Twitter and following the discussion about the brand on Twitter, a public relations practitioner can better understand how to relate to the public. Twitter may not replace traditional media, but it is certainly a supplemental tool that can affect a brand’s image. Social media must be a part of any communications plan for a brand to succeed.

Do you watch and tweet simultaneously? What do you think Twitter means for the success of a brand?

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Glee’s GQ Photo Shoot

Many parents are concerned about their children being desensitized by programs airing on MTV or E! because of their reputation for risqué content. We expect to see scantily-clad clothing and explicit behavior when tuning in for “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” but the same conduct on Fox’s light-hearted musical focused around students at William McKinley High School raised some eyebrows last week.

When word got out about GQ’s November issue featuring a sexually-suggestive photo spread of three Glee cast members (Lea Michelle, Dianna Agron and Cory Monteith), the Parents Television Council spoke out, calling the shoot a “near-pornographic display.”

“It is disturbing that GQ, which is explicitly written for adult men, is sexualizing the actresses who play high school-aged characters on ‘Glee’ in this way,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “It borders on pedophilia.”

Compared to shows such as “Family Guy,” “Married with Children” and “The O.C.” which have shared the same prime-time slot on the network, do “Glee” cast members and producers really deserve the backlash they’re receiving? Anyone who believes this is a kid’s show evidently has not been watching. If parents are already allowing their children to be exposed to mature issues such as homosexuality, marijuana use and teen pregnancy, then images featured in an adult men’s magazine should be the least of their worries.

“If you are hurt or these photos make you uncomfortable, it was never our intention,” said Glee actress Dianna Agron on her blog. “And if your eight-year-old has a copy of our GQ cover in hand, again I am sorry … but I would have to ask, how on earth did it get there?”

The show is no “High School Musical” and it has definitely gotten that point across with this tactic. As a “Gleek,” I applaud producers for pushing the envelope and allowing Michelle and Agron, 24, and Monteith, 28, to break away from the image portrayed by their teenage characters. Therefore, viewers now see that these stars can contend with entertainers like Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake and Rhianna.

We’ve seen stars born from shows such as “Lizzie McGuire” and “Even Stevens,” and “Glee” is no exception. The racy photo shoot may be the end of the show’s so-called “wholesome” image, but I have a strong indication it is just the beginning of these up-and-coming celebrity’s careers.

By Jessica West

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Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

For nearly three years, “Gossip Girl” has been one of the most talked about shows on television. The show is featured on covers of major publications, like Rolling Stone and New York Magazine. The stars of the show are regularly mentioned in tabloid magazines and gossip Web sites. “Gossip Girl” also garners attention for its racy advertisements, containing phrases like “WTF,” which stands for “Watch this Fall.” With this constant media coverage you would think “Gossip Girl” is one of the top rated shows on television. However, it only averages about two million viewers per week.

“Gossip Girl” is on The CW television network, which has fewer stations around the country than other networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, or FOX. This could be one reason why The CW normally has lower ratings than other networks. But I think the main problem is the network’s image.

The CW offers almost exclusively teen-oriented programming. With shows like “Gossip Girl,” “90210,” “Melrose Place” and “America’s Next Top Model,” it’s obvious that the network’s target audience is young women. And the network is relatively successful in reaching this demographic. Recently, The CW had the largest percentage gains in viewers of any network in women ages 18-34. These numbers include live viewers as well as those who record the show on DVR and watch it during a seven-day period after the show airs.

The CW’s ratings are also indicative of a larger trend. Less people are watching television shows when they premiere, opting to record them using DVRs, buy them on iTunes or stream the shows on the network’s Web site. When these numbers are taken into account, The CW’s ratings grow considerably. In fact, ratings for “90210” and “Melrose Place” increase by almost one million viewers when DVR users are included. But even with this increase, The CW’s ratings cannot rival the viewership of other networks. Last Monday at 9:00 p.m., “Two and a Half Men,” which airs onCBS, had 11 million viewers, while “Gossip Girl” had slightly more than two million viewers.

I think The CW has a niche audience of teenage girls, but in order to increase viewership they should target other groups. However, the network offers little variety in its programming. The CW has several shows about rich and attractive young people, like “Gossip Girl,” “90210” and “Melrose Place.” The CW’s emphasis on superficial content is almost insulting to its audience. It would be refreshing if they began creating shows with characters who care about more than clothes and money.

One of the most popular new shows this season is “Glee,” a part-musical, part-comedy about a high school show choir that airs on FOX. I believe a lot of the show’s success stems from its originality. Many people watch the show because there is nothing else like it on TV. The CW should take note. Developing diverse programming may be a risk for a network, but it can be worth it. By expanding its creativity, The CW can gain new viewers and become known as more than a network for teenagers.

by Enelda Butler

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