Depp/Heard Influencers as Court Correspondents

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Depp/Heard Influencers as Court Correspondents

Aug 10, 2022

Our first minisode of the sixth season of “The Creative Influencer” podcast is available today for download on iTunes, Spotify, and premier platforms everywhere. In this minisode, Jon discusses the lessons learned from lifestyle influencers turned court correspondents in the Depp/Heard trial.


A transcript of the episode follows:

This is the first minisode of the sixth season.

If you’re like me, you enjoyed watching the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp trial play out earlier this summer. On social media, it was hard to miss the memes about and coverage of the trial.

In fact, influencers who made a focus out of covering the trial saw tremendous exposure and amassed sizable follower counts from their content analyzing and reviewing the news coming out of the courtroom. Call them lifestyle influencers turned court correspondents. Which got me thinking about the lessons on self-branding and growing your audience that can be learned from watching what these Depp/Heard Influencers have done.

The first lesson is consistency. This isn’t a new lesson in the world of social media influence, but the Depp/Heard trial coverage is an apt reminder of how important consistency is in staying relevant and keyed into your audience. In some ways the craziness of the trial itself lent to this being sped up even more, with influencers meeting an audience demand for minute-by-minute updates. TikToker Cami Twomey (cami.twomeyy) created about 200 videos during the trial, with news updates. She posted news-style updates with her head imposed over images like a TV anchor, repeating drama out of the courtroom and relating the facts together.

Another lesson learned is to embrace your brand. What I mean by this is if it’s part of your brand or online persona to take sides on an issue, take sides. An example is Instagramer House Inhabit, who unabashedly took sides with #TeamDepp and surpassed 1 million followers in doing so. This was decidedly on brand for her and what her followers expected. And it’s also what you can expect from an account that promises the combination of “pop culture deep dives” with “quality conspiracy theories, lifestyle highlights, and trending water cooler gossip.” Her overall persona was that she had access to and was friendly with people working for the Depp side, and she was clear in her slant and didn’t try to hide it; she embraced it. In some ways this just shows that authenticity to your biases and recognizing them instead of covering them up or hiding them helps increase your engagement with followers.

A third lesson is that it is important to have an infrastructure in place. Interestingly, the influencers that rose to prominence and were able to capitalize on them already had started posting before the trial and had a presence and familiarity with the platform, and for the most part, had established their brand or voice. Success from riding a trend or closely following a current event also in part relies on past experience and being able to apply that in a new situation. So the very acts of posting consistently and honing your brand—the first two lessons—are essentially reinforced in this last lesson: they generate the experience and tools to be successful later.

The Creative Influencer is a weekly podcast where we discuss all things creative with an emphasis on Influencers. It is hosted by Jon Pfeiffer, an entertainment attorney in Santa Monica, California. Jon interviews influencers, creatives and the professionals who work with them.

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