A celebrity using their star power to push an issue or idea is nothing new. In fact this year, Broadview Strategy Group had the opportunity to work with a celebrity to advocate on behalf of one of our clients.
I often listen with interest when celebrities speak about issues unrelated to their trade because whenever celebrity endorsement is part of a communications strategy, you know those pushing that side of an argument mean business.
Well, that is usually the case.
When you’re working with a celebrity in an advocacy role, it is important to ensure the departure from their claim to fame does no harm to them, their brand or reputation.
When I heard Justin Bieber got himself in trouble for making fun of Prince William’s hair, it reminded me that he had just recently found himself in controversy over comments he made about aboriginals being entitled to free gasoline in Canada. Not too long ago, Bieber also waded into the healthcare debate in the United States, by promoting Canada’s approach to medicine and even equated abortion will killing a baby.
These are four separate instances on four occasions that could have been avoided if Bieber had solid communications professionals working with him, preparing him for interviews and ensuring that if he felt the need to express his views on issues of the day, he was able to do it in a manner that would not offend those who held a different view.
Good public relations and communications professionals don’t try to control or distort their client’s views, but do work with their client to help them understand that knowing their audience means not making inflammatory comments to the media about identifiable groups or individuals. Beyond that, ensuring a client’s views are appropriately channeled in language that is professional, effective and respectful is extremely important to the protection of their reputation.
The benefit for someone like Bieber, or anyone who finds themselves in the public eye is that professional communications support will allow you to better achieve the impact you desire, while minimizing the opportunity of harm to you as a result of your efforts.