Breaking if not quite surprising news: Major TV networks have all but abandoned the old-school PR model, replacing it with the instant gratification of social media.
All this report really tells us is that big TV-related announcements now almost always hit Twitter before “the media” gets wind of them and writes the appropriate follow-up stories. But this development is something of a sea change.
Here are a few examples of TV personalities “leaking” news about their shows via Twitter before the release of official network announcements:
I wanted you guys to be the first to know that FOX have confirmed that @thexfactorusa will be back next year for it’s third season.
— Simon Cowell (@SimonCowell) October 22, 2012
Best way to start a Monday? Getting picked up for your back nine episodes. Thwick. #Arrow
— Stephen Amell (@amellywood) October 22, 2012
Bad news for people who don’t like Raising Hope.Fox just ordered 2 more episodes!Meaning: 24 madcap Chance adventures airing this year!
— Lucas Neff (@RealLucasNeff) October 19, 2012
Variety calls Cowell’s tweet “a calculated decision to…break the news first to the loyal fans who matter most”. We see this as an effective PR strategy: If we know anything about the all-important “die-hard fan” demographic, they’d rather get breaking news from actors and producers than faceless industry flacks (apologies to all faceless industry flacks, who perform a crucial and invaluable service).
Still, there’s always the risk that stars tweet news that isn’t supposed to be public or make defamatory statements about their employers.