PR Lessons from Celebrity Faux Pas

pippa middleton

Another day, another celebrity scandal. There isn't a day that goes by when we don't read a story in the press where we ask ourselves, “what were they thinking?!” Some celebrities gallivant around town pointing a toy gun at photographers or lash out in an angry twitter-tirade to your social media followers. Whatever their missteps may be, there are important PR lessons the blogging community can learn from these faux pas.

Pippa Middleton

We bet Pippa Middleton regrets getting into a car with a silly friend who decided to whip out a toy gun and point it at a photographer. Talk about just being plain dumb. Granted, she isn't the Duchess of Cambridge so her actions aren't as intensely scrutinized as Kate's but she is a public figure. People expect more from public figures, and, when they see you fall, they will be the first ones to point it out. Next time Pippa, tell your friends to keep it cool and not completely embarrass your self and the royal family.

PR Lesson: Be accountable and issue an apology. Being responsible for your actions shows maturity and professionalism. People may not forgive you immediately but, with time, the issue will disappear.

Kanye West

Another prime example of celebrities behaving badly is Kanye West and his Twitter account. Yes, we know it's Kanye but his ALL CAPSLOCK TIRADE AGAINST EVERYONE is just odd. And creepy. And frustrating.Using your social media channels as an outlet for your rage/stupidity isn't worth the time or the energy it takes to do so. After the Kanye-Tweetathon and subsequent backlash, Kanye reduced the amount of tweeting he did and cleaned up his act. However, the digital imprint of the content he shared on social media is everlasting. Thanks to screenshots, his comments/updates will never disappear.

PR Lesson: Keep quiet and ignore the issue. You don't need to fixate on it and make this a bigger deal than it really is. With time, the public will move on to something else and your faux pas will be history.

Bottom line

Adhering to a professional code of conduct is the best way to go, especially if you find yourself surrounded by your public and influential leaders who are looking to you in business opportunities. Perspectives on Social Media Marketing states, “Only put out there what you want people to see, and think about longer-term ramifications… What might seem like a good idea now can quickly turn into something you regret later.” At the end of the day, we know some people say bad press is good press because it gets people talking about you. You can't control what happens in the press and the only thing you can do is clean up the aftermath. And, stay aware of your actions and be aware of your action's repercussions.

Remember, by creating a blog, you are putting yourself in the public eye and if you mess up, be ready to say your apologies.


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6 Responses

  1. Sharon

    Ashton Kutcher learned this too. He left Twitter.
    Not too long ago, I had someone tell me that Twitter is where she can say whatever she feels despite being a blogger. I was like no . .. your tweets are a direct reflection of you, your blog, and your brand.
    People should realize that once you put yourself out there whether a celebrity or a blogger that the streets watch (ask Tweeters of those racist Rue tweets).
    Seriously, if my goal is to empower women how can I expect to get on Facebook and bash a woman or use derogatory words when speaking of women.
    Actually, this advice goes beyond bloggers, if you want a job you better watch yourself. Employers are watching too.

  2. madeleine gallay

    It seems a little bold to offer Pippa offhand advice … the tone is imply impolite. Judging a situation knowing the slightest of detail and nuance is not cool for me.

    Love IFB, but the flippancy here bothers me.

    This is entirely subjective of course … as is my response.

    • Kristie

      I agree with you. The tone of it also made me uncomfortable. And I’m not sure that I would say she embarrassed herself AND the royal family..

  3. Georgina

    Blogger or otherwise, you need to be careful on Twitter. Checking out someone’s social media profile is pretty standard for employers now.
    Also, for the love of God, remember that if someone follows your blog, they probably follow your Twitter. I once offered another blogger some advice in my degree field. She took it as me patronising her (tone is tricky, on the internet)and was offended. What could have been an honest misunderstanding turned nasty after she responded nicely in her comments but then bashed me on Twitter. Oops.