DIY PR was back in the news over the weekend, when Stephen Fry landed in hot water with the broadsheets for comments he made about women’s sexuality and then took to Twitter to try and resolve the furore.
It’s a perfect way to highlight the dangers of do it yourself PR; like some hapless DIY electrician, the celebrity who tries to engage in their own publicity is likely to burn the house down if they are not really careful.
If even an articulate, interesting, engaging and thoroughly metropolitan man such as Stephen Fry, a man who knows how to shimmy around a crowd and impress or charm the best of us, can get into hot water and be unable to fix it via Twitter, there is surely something to be said for good PR after all.
A good publicist would surely have deflected the furore away from Fry’s personal Twitter feed (in the short term at least) and prevented him from taking it too personally – and since Fry is again suggesting that he will withdraw from the social networking site, there can be no doubt he is taking it very personally.
This is as good a lesson as any that you are right in the firing line if you engage in the great social network revolution – it is an excellent leveller at the moment when hubris reaches it’s peak. Many may have forgotten that Fry is at heart a wit and comedian under the blanket of ‘national treasure’ that has enveloped him, even Fry himself.
A publicist would have tried to guide him towards crafting a witty, comedic and, most importantly, carefully thought through response to the broadsheet ire rather than to the huffy Tweets with which he seems to have signed off Twitter with – for now, at least…