Talent and Social Media…
Who can forget the moment at the end of 2017 when Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith accidently revealed the show’s winner hours before the finale was due to air? And earlier the same month Debbie McGee had let slip that the Reverend Richard Coles was leaving Strictly Come Dancing hours before it was confirmed on BBC.
Prue’s Tweet remained ‘live’ for just 89 seconds before it was deleted, but this was long enough for it to be re-tweeted, leading to a national outcry about the spoiler.
So, with the rise and rise of social media, what can production companies do to keep these kinds of revelations under wraps until transmission?
For starters it’s always good to have a robust clause in your presenter and talent agreements about publicity in general but also explicitly cover social media usage. No, this isn’t going to stop them hitting the button or making accidental blunders like poor Prue who was disorientated by different time zones, but it will let them know that it’s something to be taken seriously.
As well as a contractual clause it’s also good practice to provide your talent with some ‘Social Media Guidelines’ tailored to the programme. Social media is great publicity so don’t attempt to completely stifle it’s use - encourage its usage but be very clear on what can and can’t be made public and at what time/dates certain revelations can be made. And if all else fails, you could always pretend it was a double bluff…!
If you need guidance on appropriate publicity and social media clauses for contracts, or require a bespoke ‘Social Media Policy’ drafted for your production, contact email@example.com