Digital media such as twitter, Facebook, etc. offers a tremendous amount of opportunity – as well as a tremendous amount of risk.  With instant exposure, some utilize the exposure to their advantage and others fail miserably.  Hence two high profile celebrities with vastly different digital experiences – Chris Brown & Kate Upton.

This week, Chris Brown yet again seemed in need of a crisis PR agency as he caused controversy on Twitter after his Grammy performance – After tweet topics such as #wifebeater and #RIPChrisbrown, and negative tweets from celebrities including Michelle Branch, Brown lashed out with at his critics with strongly worded tweets, including a final “F You.” A few minutes later, Brown attempted to delete all evidence of his Twitter-tantrum. Of course, once it’s out, it’s out – and while it can be buried with SEO campaigns it can’t be completely erased. Think before you tweet. (More on this in a story I was featured on by Mashable

Of course, the cover girl of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue – Kate Upton could be deemed a digital media superstar.  Only a year ago, Kate Upton was a relative unknown – until a YouTube video of Upton doing “the Dougie” at a Los Angeles Clippers game went viral. Nearly 4 Million views later (and 200K plus twitter followers), she has secured a lucrative modeling career. With the simple video she is a self-created Internet sensation – and went almost overnight from being unknown to Number 2 on a list of the worlds 99 top women compiled by

If she was forced to rely on the traditional gatekeepers she never would have made it –  Sophia Neophitou, editor of the English style bible 10 and a creative force behind the Victoria’s Secret shows said “We would never use” Ms. Upton for a Victoria’s Secret show. Neophitou said her look is “too obvious” to be featured in the high profile production. “She’s like a Page 3 girl- like a footballer’s wife, with the too-blond hair and that kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy.” Similarly, Ivan Bart of IMG Models said everyone at IMG thought he was crazy for signing her.

Of course upon so many viewers of her videos came high-profile celebrity dates including Kanye West and the New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez which opened more doors with the gossip coverage. “People told me I couldn’t be fashion, that I’m just an old-fashioned body girl, only good for swimwear,” Ms. Upton said. “But I knew that I could bring back the supermodel.” “What can I say?” she added. “I’m relatable.”

Ms. Upton is a self-created PR sensation – and if her modeling career isn’t a success, rest assured (strictly for her professional skills of course), she’d have a bright future at a Public Relations agency in digital media.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading NY PR Agency.

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