Oprah’s Oops

27 Nov

Last Sunday Oprah (or her PR team) made one big blunder. A tweet was sent out from Oprah’s personal account praising the Microsoft Surface.  One problem the tweet was sent out from an Ipad, a competing tablet. OOPS!

Was this just a blatant disregard on Oprah’s communications team? Celebrity endorsements have always been huge in the world of PR and  advertising. Brands that are synonymous with celebrities tend to be considered higher quality and have more brand recognition. The tricky thing about social media and celebrity endorsements is that its harder for celebrities to hide from them. A decade ago if a celebrity endorsed Pepsi in a TV commercial but secretly drank Coca Cola at home it was easier to hide from the world. Now with smartphones, Wifi and 3G/ 4G networks everywhere the ability to share information is easier than ever. Celebrities are already under a microscope but add in the additional pressure from social media, celebrity must be careful more than ever.  This isn’t just limited to product endorsements. Even with the recent election, celebrity tweets were under intense scrutiny as well. Eva Longeeria received hard feedback after tweeting a not so politically correct state on women and Mitt Romney.  So what is the lesson we normal folk can take from this? If even our over glorified celebrity idos are susceptible to social media blunders, then so are we. Oprah, with her team of probably a dozen specialist can make such a simple mistake, then so can we. No one is immune to the access of information the internet can provide to people. It is a lesson for all of us to just  think twice before posting online.


7 Responses to “Oprah’s Oops”

  1. tessamorelli November 27, 2012 at 6:20 am #

    Amen. We have talked about social media blunders a lot in class. Check which account you are on. Are you being politically correct? Are you offending your audience or a client even if you’re on your own account? It is important to constantly be aware of the information or even senseless banter on social media platforms. I think this was a hilarious catch by Oprah followers. This tweet not only embarrassed the Microsoft (because even the person they paid to endorse their product uses Apples iPad), but it embarrass Oprah because she now lacks credibility to fans and followers who were paying attention.

  2. Raisa Collazo November 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    This is especially important for us in the communications field since we usually represent either a brand or a person. as Advertisers and PR professionals we too are under scrutiny as you mentioned. I remember being at a concert back home, and the singer was supposed to ask for a break from singing because he needed a Pepsi (the number one sponsor of the event) and instead he said Coca-Cola, oops. Even though we are human and make mistakes, these kinds of mistakes can cause a fortune!

  3. jbergman0730 November 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    We talked about this in our public relations campaign class we have together and I think a lot of what you and the class were saying was true. It is extremely easy to make mistakes on twitter and since celebs are in the public eye they need to be very careful at posts. Luckily, Oprah’s was an easier fix than Eva’s!

  4. 3127saiaa December 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    This is a very interesting finding. I would assume that Oprah’s PR team didn’t think that this would be such a big deal or even realize what they were doing. With this tweet Oprah is contradicting her support for Microsoft Surface by using an IPad to post the tweet. Obviously this mistake was not intentional but like you said, “brands that are synonymous with celebrities tend to be considered high quality and have more brand recognition.” This not only looks bad on Oprah’s behalf but also something this small could potentially hurt Microsoft as well.

  5. kevobrien December 8, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    This is a really interesting post. As said you, anyone can make a social media mistake, even when they have a whole team working to make sure that their social media profiles run smoothly. As you talked about, celebrities are under more scrutiny than ever due to social media. Though what Oprah did was a mistake, I could see this becoming a future problem for more and more celebrities who endorse a brand. On social media, celebrities often tweet whatever pops into their heads, and therefore they may go against the opinions and image of a brand that they are a spokesperson for. This of course could cause brands to take heat for what the celebrity endorser posted. It will be interesting to see if more celebrities become conscious of this, and as a result become less personal on social media, or if brands stop relying so heavily on celebrity endorsers.

  6. RayOC December 10, 2012 at 5:46 am #

    I guess, in a way, this is sort of an ethical dilemma, too. I think that it was unfortunate that the mistake was made, because at the end of the day this was an unintentional action, but it still needs to recognized that this was a big issue. Oprah, and her team, had an agreement to use Microsoft and they should have honored it or at least not have taken to social media with the praise when they weren’t even using the product. I think that a pressure is placed on celebrities to promote via social media nowadays cause of the impact it could have on their followers. Everyone just needs to become more conscious when using social media. It could pay off in the end.

  7. Blake McCullough December 10, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    I don’t believe that this is a huge mistake, simply because the reasons on why she posted on an iPad could be explained, nor is she linked as an official spokesperson for the product. With that understood, she is like any of us. She uses one product, but also likes another. I do not see the harm in that, just because she’s Oprah.

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