I’ve been quoted in AOL News this morning about Charlie Sheen’s ad for a Social Media Intern, specifically to address whether that internship would make or break one’s career. Of four “experts” quoted in the story, I’m apparently the only one who thinks it could be an asset to the intern’s career.
Here’s why: the intern is going to get a graduate course in managing social media on an epic scale. The numbers are amazing. Apparently Charlie Sheen’s set a Guinness World Record for reaching one million Twitter followers in only 25 hours and 17 minutes; as of this writing, he has 2,265,408 followers and they seem to increase by 2,000 every time I hit ‘Refresh’; and the internship ad itself has 12,326 Likes on Facebook (also increasing by a few hundred every time I look).
The messages might be incoherent, but ‘Team Sheen’ seems to have a coherent strategy in place: “The #TigerBloodIntern is expected to be proactive, monitor the day-to-day activities on the major social media platforms, prepare for exciting online projects and increase Charlie’s base of followers.” Creating Twitter hashtags around this internship makes me think this is all part of the show. And whoever’s running this show is already very savvy about the memes they’ve put in motion online:
Do you have #TigerBlood? Are you all about #Winning? Can you #PlanBetter than anyone else? If so, we want you on #TeamSheen as our social media #TigerBloodIntern!
The intern will be dealing with–and learning from–an unprecedented social media firestorm. If the intern learns to manage even a fraction of it well, that will be a remarkable achievement. What other client would present a challenge on this scale? Add the media contacts and the recognition (or notoriety) that come with the position. “Social Media Experts” might be a dime a dozen–sometimes it seems every new college graduate publishes a guide upon graduation–but “Charlie Sheen’s Social Media Intern”? There Can Be Only One. Uniqueness opens doors.
Then again, it’s telling that Charlie Sheen’s longtime publicist quit the position a few weeks ago. The Ph.D. in Social Media from this internship might also be an advanced course in enabling someone’s self-destruction. It’s hard to tell how much is publicity stunt, how much is genuine illness. Increasingly, and unfortunately, that’s showbiz.
What do you think?