Read about crises strategies from celebrity publicists by our PRSSA Blog Team.
By: Julie Gui
Celebrities are constantly in the news. Whether it is in newspapers, on TV or on social media, they have a media presence almost everyday. When negative news about them surfaces, celebrities have to respond. However they are not working alone, their PR representatives always play a key role in their decision-making. Their ultimate job is to maintain a good reputation for the celebrity.
One of most important jobs of being a celebrity publicist is handling crises when they arise. They have the responsibility to make sure every word the celebrity says to the public has no ambiguous or controversial meaning. Interestingly, I found that there are three typical crisis management strategies that PR representatives usually use according to Chron.com:
1) Admit the mistake and apologize for it.
“Fix it when it’s wrong”, is a principle PR professionals use in moments of crisis. They appropriately use this principle to rebuild the reputation of their celebrity. PR representatives need to determine what should be included in the statement of apology, and what the follow up after the apology will include. Despite the celebrity’s actions, PR reps need to focus on the apologetic statement because it will decide public’s acceptance of the celebrity.
2) Make it a tag.
A tag is something that a celebrity does that may not be the most appropriate in some situations, but is a staple for them. For example, Miley Cyrus continually sticks her tongue out in pictures. If this tag were something illegal or controversial behavior, a reliable PR representative would not choose this method. But if it is feasible, the PR rep will try to run with the crisis as part of their celebrity’s image. If the PR team decides to deal the crisis this way, they need to make this tag viral. By reinforcing the behavior, it will lead the media and public to accept it and ultimately see it as a tag for celebrities.
3) Keep Silent
It seems that this wouldn’t be a good tactic, but thinking backward—what is public interested about—the reaction of celebrity! A good PR representative should notice that and recognize when their client should just stay mum. Once the team has made their initial statement to the media, the celebrity should hide from the limelight for a bit. The art of “less is more” is applied here. If there is no response from the celebrity, the media and public will gradually lose interest and shift their attention to someone else.
After all, there is always breaking news in the world of entertainment. Crisis management is a compulsory course for a good PR representative; not only do they have to make the right decision, but they have to do it in a very short period of time. So, are you ready for the challenge?