The public has always been fascinated by the private lives of our favorite movie stars and other celebrities. And the movers and shakers of Hollywood have known this. At times they have evem used sensational subjects and situations to promote new stars, films and also to boost the interest in those whose celebrity pull might be fading. This has been the case for as long as the notion of Hollywood celebrity has existed. Strategic use of public relations about and by celebrities has changed throughout the years, though the intention behind it remains the same, to generate and maintain greater interest.
Social scientists now use celebrity PR campaigns as a means to study the changing nature of social mores and beliefs. While it might have been controversial forty or fifty years ago to see your favorite single female celebrity on a topless beach, today that would barely raise an eyebrow or draw interest. Mitigating factors like a particular physical condition, such as pregnancy or enormous weight gain, or a celebrity that promotes a strict moral code could still make that type of image interesting. Understanding whether a video of a tv star having intimate relations will draw attention or be ignored is the science and art of celebrity PR.
Many people believe that any recognition is better than none at all. A perfect example of this in recent memory is Charlie Sheen and maybe even Mel Gibson. Both of these stars behaved in extremely disturbing fashions and the videos of their tirades caused an enormous negative sensation. Many people anticipated that their outburst would end their careers and cause them to disappear into notoriety. However, with proper attention from their professional PR representatives, they are both working to recover and could possibly go on to greater heights of fame. It is the follow up to controversial situations that determines the outcome and consequences to them. Many celebrities have been caught off guard by social media but are now using social media to directly access their own fans and cut out the press by going directly to the fans. Sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, and You Tube are especially valuable but none as instantaneous and effective as Twitter. A celebrity Twitter account gives the celebrity a chance to communicate directly with the fans in way that was never possible before.
Being able to turn the worst possible image into a positive situation requires expert and experience PR professionals. They also know how to get the right type of positive press coverage to build a reputation from scratch. Most people don’t have the resources to hire these types of professionals to create and protect their reputations and public image. However, celebrity representatives are aware of all the dynamics and social perspectives built into this world of paparazzi, entertainment news programs, and gossip websites. Top celebrity handlers know whether to get their client a story on NPR or an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel.