Did Charlie Sheen Just Invent the Social Media Press Conference?

Is it a stretch to liken Charlie Sheen joining Twitter to a company calling for an unscheduled press conference?  Probably.  But that’s exactly what March 1st, 2011 felt like.

Let’s talk about the Press Conference vs. the Sheen Conference.

Phase 1: The “Pre-Announcement”

Press Conference: A media alert is sent out
Sheen Conference: Charlie Sheen joined Twitter

With the quiet opening of a single Twitter account, an event of epic proportions was set in motion.  Okay, maybe not real world epic, but definitely social media epic.

Phase 2:Buzz

Press Conference: Word spreads throughout the industry
Sheen Conference: Word spreads throughout the Twitterverse, then the entire Internet.

It surprises me how quickly articles and blog posts are written. Within minutes of Charlie Sheen joining Twitter, there were tweets with articles about how Charlie Sheen just joined Twitter.

Phase 3: Anticipation

Press Conference: Industry insiders start to speculate what the press conference will be about
Sheen Conference: Everyone starts to speculate what the first tweet will be

The tweets became more and more frequent.

“What’s Charlie Sheen’s first tweet going to be?”

“The world waits #charliesheensfirsttweet”

That’s when I joined the Twitter party and followed him.  I rarely follow celebrities, but I wanted to be in the know when the first Tweet rang out. I’ve said this multiple times: I truly believe if Charlie Sheen would have tweeted as soon as his account was created, he would not have over a million followers.

Phase 4: Official Announcement (the Press Conference)

Press Conference: A company or person announces something rather anti-climactic
Sheen Conference: Charlie Sheen tweets something rather anti-climactic

Charlie Sheen’s first tweet: “Winning…! Choose your Vice!”  Which was linked to a Twitpic of Charlie and Bree Olsen holding up chocolate milk and Naked Juice.


Phase 5: Aftermath

Press Conference: Everyone leaves, or changes the channel, and most are upset they wasted their time
Sheen Conference: Even though it was anti-climactic, everyone stays and hopes that there’s more

Here’s what sets the Sheen Conference apart from a regular press conference – no one walks away or changes the channel.  He immediately had a captive audience of over one million people.    As of this article, almost a week after he joined Twitter, he has over two million followers.

If Charlie Sheen were a corporation, his database just went from 0 to 2 million in a week…

Social Media and PR Managers everywhere take note — Charlie Sheen may be the accidental social media genius.

Now that is winning.

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