Monday, June 01, 2009

Susan Boyle - victim or heroine?

Like a third of the UK population, I watched the final of "Britain's Got Talent" on Saturday night. The eventual winners, Diversity, probably came as a bit of a shock to the organisers, as evidenced by Sunday's press conference at the headquarters of Sony Music. Clearly, they were expecting a singer. According to reports on the BBC, Simon Cowell did not appear at the press conference.

The story of Susan Boyle has generated astonishing publicity, showing how social media can now spread fame far and wide in an instant, particularly when combined with a rags-to-riches story. However, instant fame can also disappear instantly. It looks as though Susan is caught up in a media whirlpool that has left her senses reeling. I'm not in the least surprised that she needs to take a few days out of the limelight.

Far be it from this old hack to sniff a PR stunt. However, the headlines on the UK papers today are about Susan Boyle, not Diversity. As I write this, she is top of the trending topics on Twitter. When she emerges from her sojourn in hospital, I suspect her fame will be enhanced. Provided she can cope with the publicity roller-coaster, and is treated sensitively by her PR minders, her story will run and run.


lloydwatson said...

Susan Boyle was undoubtedly shot to global notice (is it really fame?) by social media. This spurred traditional media - particularly outside the UK - to follow suit. It remains to be seen how sustainable this 'fame' is and which branch of the media will do the most to pick up the pieces if it all falls apart.

Alan said...


Thanks for your comments. I think the best future for Susan Boyle would be good career, singing show tunes to "mature" audiences. they'd love her, and she could schedule tours to minimise her stress. Provided she gets a good manager/agent, she'll be fine.