Over the years, I have been approached by numerous media publications and individuals to grant interviews for print, online, video/tv etc. I, for the most part, have declined majority of those requests. One reason was that I was not at a place where I felt comfortable to put myself out like that, and the other was making sure I took control of my personal brand management i.e. not being overexposed. Within this past decade, instead, I have focused on using my Communications degree and media industry experience in telling the stories of both Africans and non-Africans in the legal, entertainment and fashion realm.
I’d like to think I have learnt a few things in that process. One key lesson is that talents have an obligation to protect their brand image. When a publication approaches you, you have to assess what exactly that publication is getting at and how their target audience fits your brand image. While it may be good to expose yourself to an even wider audience, if you conduct your research and you see there is a propensity to tell stories that either fit certain stereotypes of who you are, or fails to align with your brand image, then perhaps that is not the right fit for you afterall.
You also have to, for the most part, educate the writer on who you are.
Last week, I questioned Elle.com’s profile on Nollywood A-List actress Genevieve Nnaji in calling her a so called Next Big International Crossover artist or some derivative of that. I thought the tag was ridiculous, at best, and insulting. Today, I say the same thing with the feature by the UK’s Sunday Telegraph Newspaper insert i.e. Stella Magazine, a free insert in the Sunday version of the publication.
The headline/news story dubs Jalade as the “Queen of Nollywood, The Biggest Film Star You Never Heard of?” What does this mean? Is it by force to write about her? Why is a woman who just made Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, having this “never heard of” crap associated with her?
Who did this newspaper survey to ask this question? The UK houses lots of Nigerians/Africans and have so many cultural events from music to fashion, Nollywood film screenings and much more. How did this actress become this “Queen you never heard of?” Wasn’t Omotola’s name a part of D’banj’s ‘Oliver’ hit single which reached #9 on the UK music charts?
This is downright insulting and I fail to see how this creates an added value to Omotola’s brand image.
AML talents, protect your brand image. It is not by force to have Western media write about you. Filter those who approach you and also be sure to make sure your Publicist knows what he/she is doing.
Overall, Omotola is one of my favorite actresses out of the continent because her acting appears effortless and quite versatile; but, I am not a fan of what I view as a step down of her image and brand reputation. These are my thoughts .
Let me hear yours.
Do you view Stella Magazine’s profile to be a compliment or an insult?
NOTE: Folks, this week I’ve got a bit more on my plate than usual, including a seminar I will be presenting later today in the City. So, catch up with you at a later time and stay blessed.