Wizkid was Ladybrille Man of the Month in August for my magazine www.ladybrillemag.com. He was the perfect fit for a feature on social media. Just before the month ran out, all kinds of rumors hit the net hard that Wizkid was now a soon to be father. If it was true, there was not much I could do. We had done our due dilligence before selecting him and life was what it was. We contacted his camp and we were satisfied with the answers they gave us. So, we kept it moving.
Bothering the Ladybrille Magazine audience with the rumors was simply out of the question barring a showing this was true. In any event, Wizkid has since come out and granted Factory 78 an exclusive interview addressing this issue. He essentially says whatever anyone says, if it is not directly from him, then it is false.
Before you watch the clip, as an artist or talent how do you quelch rumors? There are two options:
1. Wait it out and hope it goes away
2. Address the media/fans and the public about the rumor
Both methods can work. It is about timing and figuring out when best to engage the media. This is where professional public relations experts come in to help you. We’ve seen many crisis in the music industry in the last 2-3 years and it all points to hiring PR persons for your career who know what they are doing.
You cannot just dump the whole responsibility of managing your PR with a PR consultant/expert. PR is still new in Nigeria and frankly many so called PR companies in entertainment have no clue what they are doing.
A case in point is the Mercy Johnson saga handled by Big Sam media. Big Sam media knows where I stand with their PR agency and I’ll never stop holding that position till they obtain the training they need to better manage crisis with their clients.
The Mercy Johnson case had no business becoming as dramatic and a drag out war as it did. When the story first broke out on Linda Ikeji, the PR’s response on behalf of his client was that the wedding would go on, regardless.
You are not fighting the public. It is called public “relations” for a reason.”Relate” to the public. To say the show goes on without addressing the who, what, when, why, how, among other things is like, okay?? All hell broke loose and that drama spinned out of control and was a mess.
Here, Wizkid relates to the public. Whether the rumors are true or not, when they emerge you should master the art, as an artist or personality, on how to quench or reduce to a minimal, negative rumors.
TIPS ON CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND REPUTATION
As a celebrity talent or emerging talent, there will be situations where people will spread vicious rumors to really hurt you. Here are some tips that might help. At the core of it is to have a strong sense of crisis principles so you know how to deal with these situations.
I. Have a process to deal with crisis
II. Act with Speed
III. Fix the Problem
In more details
1. Act with speed and reach out to the media and public: It is hard to know what to do when you are faced with a crisis. Do you ignore the crisis? Do you act with speed? If so, when and how do you act?
At the end of the day, you have to be proactive about a crisis. ACT in a prudent way. Non-action, avoiding the media, public or the situation will not make it go away. Don’t sit on it and let it grow. If it grows, you allow others and especially the media, to tell your story.
2. Apologize: If you are wrong, “say I am sorry.” You’d be surprise what happens with a simple apology.
3. Transparency: Be transparent. Show the public, family or friends how you are fixing the problem.
4. Be a Leader: Leadership is what is needed not fear. Lead.
There are no set rules or solution. One has to be flexible with a crisis and celebrities/talents should engage the services of PR companies who do this or PR consultants.