Alec Baldwin singlehandedly continues to do some of NBC's best marketing work for "30 Rock": He keeps saying outrageous stuff or getting in the middle of testy issues -- like being a passenger on a airline.
What's his secret? He doesn't go over the Sheen-edge.
Most of Baldwin’s activities were on those 140-character Twitter blurbs. But only recently, when playing a mobile game too near takeoff on American Airlines, did he decide to stop the stream-of-thought, unedited Twitter stuff.
Baldwin isn't the first actor/celebrity to fall into a nasty Twitter vortex. Ashton Kutcher did much the same a couple of weeks earlier concerning some wrong information about the sex abuse scandal at Penn State and football coach Joe Paterno.
As a result, he said he was abandoning doing tweets -- for the most part. (His future tweets may be written and vetted by his Katalyst Group production company). Many more actors and athletes have seemingly stopped their Twitter activity because of faux pas in business and other relationship messaging.
The best thing about Twitter is also the worst thing about Twitter: saying what you want with little or no mental editing. What's an entertainment or sports public relations executive to do? Sit back and watch. And then say, "I told you so.
Entertainment consumers love the rough patches their favorite celebs get themselves into. How many times have we seen bigtime athletes rant on in a tweet about teammates, competitors, referees/umpires and coaches -- only to regret the comment later on?
And celebs will tell you they love the immediate access -- and response.
Perhaps the biggest celebrity to put both his feet into this mess -- especially in 2011 -- was none other than Charlie Sheen. Does he regret some, if not all, of what he did? Does he think about this at all as he grabs what assuredly will be a much lower payday from a new show called "Anger Management" on FX than he did with CBS's "Two and a Half Men"?
The difference between Baldwin and Sheen? Baldwin doesn't bash his TV producers or his network. For Sheen, anything was open season -- all the more fun for us. (He has been a lot quieter lately and a bit more humble).
TV marketing on Twitter can work many ways. If you don't know the direction, it may sound exciting. If you are a celebrity doing your own Twitter marketing --- for the sake of your fans (not your business interests) -- continue to not think about what you are doing. Release the hounds.