Charlie Sheen: #winning the PR battle?

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This week I’ve been a bit preoccupied… with Charlie Sheen. But then I don’t know of many people who haven’t been. The ramblings of the (now formerly) highest paid television actor have had the world captivated – and now the Sheen drama is being played out on Twitter.

Having only joined the site on 1 March, @CharlieSheen already has 2,232,588 Twitter fans (and counting). This has set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest person ever to reach one million followers – in 25 hours and 17 minutes, if you’re wondering.

This whole affair becomes even more interesting when you look at it from a PR perspective. After his publicist, Stan Rosenfeld, resigned, Sheen became his own PR machine, driving his own agenda and pushing his own messages through Twitter. With attention firmly fixed on his tweets, it’s easy to forget that he was sacked from Two and a Half Men (because of an alleged drug addiction and a major outburst at the show’s producer) – how convenient. Nice one Charlie.

Thanks to Twitter, Sheen’s profile has never been higher and the site has provided him with lucrative business opportunities too. Having been steered through his first few days on the site by Ad.ly – an American company that facilitates social media endorsements – the actor stands to make a huge amount of money as tweeter of the hour. The farm that produces the milk that Sheen was clutching in his first Twitpic has already been swamped with enquiries.

The fact that Twitter allows high-profile individuals to, potentially, make a lot of money by PR-ing themselves will certainly appeal to many. Whether Sheen’s own PR campaign is #winning remains to be seen.