Matt Lucas creates @CharityRetweet to manage requests

Comedian and actor Matt Lucas clearly gets a lot of requests – as do all celebrities and influential tweeps – to retweet charitable messages to his legion of followers.

In an effort to manage these however, he’s perhaps lost the very reason that his fans ask him to do this – by creating a pretty anonymous (and so far faceless) Twitter profile called ‘Charity Retweet‘.

I noticed this morning that he retweeted a Whizz-Kidz supporter’s message (thanks, Matt!), but I thought nothing of it until I traced it back to Lucas.

Probably the most famous, at least in the UK, Twitter supremo is Stephen Fry – who also felt compelled by the strain of requests from tweeters to lay out his own rules.

The thing is, celebrities have brand, credibility, and gazillions of followers, so by creating a separate un-branded Twitter profile, I wonder whether a) Matt Lucas is creating an enormous rod for his own back having to manage two profiles (admittedly this second Twitter could be run by an employee) and b) he has dampened the inclination to ask for a retweet in the first place, because ‘Charity Retweets’ is a desperately ambiguous profile.

I’m sure Matt will rename it to something like ‘Matt Lucas’s charity shout outs’ or something, but the fact is his all fans will now have to follow this separate profile in addition to his main one, and who wants to follow an endless stream of retweets – sans the humour and miscellaneous titbits that you follow celebs in the first place for?

3 thoughts on “Matt Lucas creates @CharityRetweet to manage requests

  1. I totally agree with your observations, Rob.

    I think it’s charities that have shot themselves in the foot, in a way, bombarding celebrities with requests to retweet things (alongside the huge number of requests to help them in other ways).

    I’m not blaming charities for doing this. Being opportunistic is really important and it should always be part of the mix when we’re trying to raise awareness of the charities we work for, but it was always obvious that the successes of the ‘first mover’ charities – such as Dogs Trust getting Jonathan Ross to donate an amazing auction prize of tickets to his show and to meet him backstage – couldn’t simply be replicated by every charity in the longer term.

    It’s just as important to target and tailor these requests as it is any other direct request for support – whether for a personal donation, to volunteer time, to sign a petition, or even for large grants or corporate sponsorship – mindful, in every case, of the fact that we’re asking real people, with their own very unique preferences and circumstances.

    Much better to ask fewer people much better 🙂

    Having been on the receiving end of several clumsy requests to blog about campaigns over the past couple of years, and having been quite offended on one particular occasion by being made to feel like a commodity, I can only imagine what Matt Lucas and Stephen Fry have to contend with, and totally understand the need for them to develop strategies to deal with the volume of requests they get. And charities need to develop robust strategies to promote their causes that don’t hinge on Stephen Fry and Matt Lucas retweeting them!

  2. Thanks Rachel. Absolutely – there’s definitely a tendency to be a bit lazy on Twitter, and it’s pretty nice for some celebs to be so accommodating with charity RT’s 😉

    I also suspect a huge volume of RT requests come from well-meaning supporters of charities, as it’s very easy ‘slactivism’ to tweet a celeb and ‘that’s your bit erm done’. But as you say, if charities thought up new ingenious and creative asks of their supporters then these loyal online ambassadors could be harnessed in a more effective way. Ta for your thoughts as always.

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