An open letter to social media managers: the Sinead/Miley edition

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

This is a parody of the open letter musician Sinead O’Conner sent to Miley Cyrus in response to the starlet’s video for ‘Wrecking Ball’.

Dear Social Media Manager,

I wasn’t going to write this letter, but today I’ve been dodging phone calls from various industry blogs who wished me to remark upon your having said on Memeburn your career was designed to be similar to mine… So this is what I need to say… And it is said in the spirit of fatherliness and with love.

I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way “cool” to be bored and writing social media posts for corporate clients in your days. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether it’s the digital branding business or yourself doing the pimping.

Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young creatives, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your social media skills than your obvious talent.

I am happy to hear I am somewhat of a role model for you and I hope that because of that you will pay close attention to what I am telling you.

The digital branding business doesn’t care about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think it’s what you wanted… and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, “they” will be sunning themselves on their yachts, which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone.

None of the people briefing you give a shit about you either, do not be fooled. Many’s the social media manager who mistook community management for creativity. If they want you for your editorial skills — that doesn’t mean they care about you. All the more true when you unwittingly give the impression you don’t care about yourself. And when you employ people who give the impression they don’t care about you either. No one who cares about you could support your being pimped… and that includes you, yourself.

Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change. You ought to be protected as a precious young lady by anyone in your employ and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. We don’t encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it makes them prey for animals and less than animals, a distressing majority of whom work in the digital industry and its associated media.

You are worth more than your Facebook skills or your SEO ability. The world of digital comms doesn’t see things that way, they like things to be seen the other way, whether they are business blogs who want you on their cover, or whatever… Don’t be under any illusions… All of them want you because they’re making money off your youth and your beauty… which they could not do except for the fact your youth makes you blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can’t recognise those who do not.

I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the digital branding business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them care about you. They’re there for the money… we’re there for the innovation. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young lady gets to know that, the sooner she can be really in control.

You also said in Memeburn that your look is based on mine. The look I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my ad agency were encouraging me to do what you have done. I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice, not least because I do not find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am almost 37 years of age… which unfortunately many who have based their image around their sexuality, end up on when they reach middle age.

Real empowerment of yourself as a young creative would be to in future refuse to exploit your creativity or your writing skills in order for retreaded ad men to make money from you. I needn’t even ask the question… I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting commercial on Facebook. It’s really not at all cool. And it’s sending dangerous signals to other young creatives. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your creativity is for you and you alone. It isn’t for every budget-spewing dirt-bag on the net, or every greedy corporate marketing executive to buy his mistresses diamonds with.

Whether we like it or not, us truly talented people in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other young creatives. The message you keep sending is that it’s somehow cool to be prostituted… it’s so not cool… it’s dangerous. Creative people are to be valued for so much more than their social community management. We aren’t merely objects of Facebook schmaltz. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers… that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career. Kindly fire anyone who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.



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