Public Relations & Social Media

Live Tweeting during Music Award Shows – A Crisis PR Saving Grace?

This past Sunday, the American Music Awards took place in Hollywood, CA and they were nothing short of jaw-dropping, controversial and inspiring. I curled up with a blanket with my cup of coffee in hand and my laptop open ready to begin tweeting. Yes, I prepared to watch one of my favorite award shows with my Twitter open, ready to tweet the night away.

Whenever I get readyย for an evening of award show watching, I have found myself taking to Twitter more and more to see what the “Twittersphere” is saying. When I attended the 2013 VMAs and witnessed Miley Cyrus’ performance first hand, Iย was unable to see what others were tweeting in real time. The first thing I did when I came home was check Twitter and see what the folks at homeย were saying.

Katy Perry’s performance of her new single “Unconditionally” was the first performance of the night, and the geisha-inspired performance was controversial. Here are some reactions from Twitter below:

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Many tweets were sent about the performance while it was occurring, saying that it was racist and insensitive. My mind went into PR mode, and I had to wonder if anyone on her team was on social media monitoring what people were saying about her performance and if they were going into crisis management mode.

I watch music award shows as if I was the manager of an artist; I can’t help it. I’ve often thought about what an artist’s management team does while they are performing; do they watch the performance, talk to the media? I suppose something they could do, or at least should do, is monitor Twitter, in real time, and see what their at-home audience is saying.

In one of my intro to public relations classes, my professor said that in PR, you must be “proactive, not reactive”. By monitoring Twitter in real time, music managers and other industry professionals can prepare to handle a crisis immediately. They might even see that a crisis is beginning when they didn’t expect one to occur, and that’s being PR-proactive.

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*Images via Twitter*

6 thoughts on “Live Tweeting during Music Award Shows – A Crisis PR Saving Grace?

  1. Hey Camille! This was a great post about live tweeting the AMAs because I actually followed along your tweets throughout the night. It wasn’t until I was scrolling through twitter and saw your tweets that it made me want to turn them on. I was about to turn on the movie with my mom but your tweets really intrigued me! Especially when shocking incidents happen on Award Shows or a good artist comes on, I love following the live tweets with the Hashtag because it is interesting to see different people’s views on particular topics. For example, when Miley Cyrus came on at the end, it was interesting to see the different ways people were reacting on Twitter. I will be sure to follow your live Tweets for the next award show!

  2. Camille, this is a great post. I also watched the AMAs and was in awe of Katy Perrys performance, I was confused and also checked twitter to see what other people were saying about it. I think twitter is really important in moments like this, not only do you get the general publics opinion, you also get the other celebrities who are in the room – watching live. I think the variety in opinions is interesting, people do not hold back on twitter so keeping up to date, minute to minute tabs on your audience is key. Katy Perrys team should have realized this was going to stir the pot, I am shocked that we havent heard a public apology from her team yet!

  3. Camille, I also love following music award ceremonies on Twitter. It’s interesting to see everyone’s different takes on performances. For example, during Miley Cyrus’s performance at the VMAs, I was shocked, but I also caught on to the allusion to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video. I wasn’t as offended as many other viewers because I had already been exposed to the music video. It wasn’t until I started reading my Twitter feed that I realized the effect the performance had on the majority of America. Like Erin, I’m also planning on following your tweets during award shows!

  4. This is such an interesting topic. As someone who is extremely interested in how TV & social media interact, I think it is fascinating how sometimes what is being said on Twitter seems to determine the entire public opinion about a show or event. I also think that it is interesting that artists like Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus, both huge presences on Twitter, address their fans on issues like this with personal tweets instead of having their PR people release a statement. I think this is definitely still part of an orchestrated PR strategy, but effective nonetheless.

  5. What a great post about live tweeting! I never really thought much about it, until we did our live tweeting session with our social media class. Even since then I always think about live tweeting events and how much the trend has grown. I think it’s extremely important, especially for artists during a performance, to have a team of pr professionals on social media, not just Twitter but every platform. Social media has grown so much and there is no avoiding it or changing the trend. Instead, pr professionals must be proactive on social media and not reactive during a crisis and backlash an artist might get while performing. Thanks for sharing, I really like this post!

  6. Camille, I really enjoyed reading this post, especially as an avid tea-in-hand awards show watcher myself. Although, I tend to stray away from live tweeting them, I definitely enjoy following the Twittersphere to watch what others are saying about the performances, fashion, awards, dialogues, mishaps, etc. When you mentioned that you are curious whether an artist’s social media team watches their artist’s performance or maintains their focus on the media, I actually was stumped as well. When Miley Cyrus hosted SNL a few weeks after her scandalous VMA performance, one skit where her younger self tried to warn her about what she was about to perform hinted at the fact that she knew exactly what she was getting herself into, but my question then changed to, did her management team? I suppose a PR agent cannot be as proactive as they want when their client isn’t candid and upfront about their decisions and plans.

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