Why celebrities on Twitter need journalists and PR folks

malariaI’m pretty sure I was not the only puppy watching Kutcher’s video where he broke 1 million followers on Twitter, scratching my head at the $100,000 check he was holding up as a donation to the Malaria No More organization. Why was this important? Where was the tie-in? Is malaria really that important to stamp out? Isn’t AIDS, cancer and heart disease more pressing?

Today, Peter Chernin wrote an article in the WSJ on why Malaria is an important disease to stamp out. Now, I get it.

Malaria kills 1 child every 30 seconds. It is easy to wipe out with enough money and it eats up limited resources that could be applied to solving the larger problems. It is the “day job” that keeps you from “changing the world” by sapping your energy. I get it because Chernin was able to write clearly.

I found out through the WSJ that April 25 is World Malaria Day. Surely, @aplusk was all over this with his 1 million+ followers on Twitter. Nope. His latest tweet as of this article was a musing over wanting a trap door to have people fall through.apluskfeed Maybe he was promoting it a few days ago. Nope. Nothing. Zip. Nada.

Malaria No More has a Twitter account @malarianomore. If you do a search on malarianomore, you will find a ton of pleas by average twitterers urging @aplusk to promote World Malaria Day.

Does @aplusk have a moral obligation to promote World Malaria Day using his 1 million followers? I think he does. I think the Twitter community would probably agree, especially after his claim that “One man can have a voice that’s as loud as an entire media company.” I think the folks at MalariaNoMore.org would agree that he does as well. Especially since it would take almost no effort.

I’m pretty sure the folks at MalariaNoMore.org are scratching their heads in confusion over Kutcher’s apathy and resultant silence on twitter about World Malaria Day. They have probably gone through the usual cycle of emotions of sponsorship: excitement, exuberance, confusion, anger and resignation. They probably realize by now that they have been and will be all alone in the effort, despite Kutcher’s “support.”

By contrast, If Guy Kawasaki with only a few over 100K followers were to make an impassioned plea to his audience, how many of us would fail to listen? I can’t think of one person.

Should Kutcher suffer the pains of a Twitterstorm for his apathy? We skewered Amazon, Dominos, Motrin, and Target. And these are just brands. Nobody is dying because the brand ignored Social Media. With malaria, people are dying because the awareness is not known, because Kutcher could make a difference but chooses not to.

However, with good journalists and PR folks, Kutcher would not have the option of letting this opportunity go wasted. As it is, he has less than 24 hours to pull something together for World Malaria Day.

Whatever it is, it will come across as half-baked and rushed. I eagerly await the first World Malaria Day tweet from @aplusk.

Ok, now give. DogWalkBlog is giving $100 tomorrow to help with World Malaria Day. If each of @aplusk’s followers gave $1.00, that would be $1.3million. But, I’m not sure why they would as it doesn’t seem all that important a cause to support when nobody is looking.

PS: Proof of the Existence of God. As I was writing this post, I received an email linking to this AdAge article. 🙂

Afterthought: On April 18, 2009 I tweeted out:

Should we listen to @guykawasaki about twitter any more? After all, he only has 100K and @aplusk has 1M, @mileycyrus has 300K+ Thoughts?

Guy came back with an “are you kidding?” response. I was thinking through a thought and it took a week and an article from the WSJ to get to some clarity.

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