Because they were unknown factors, they have been able to profit in a big way by becoming the people the reality show created. Kelly Price wasn’t in that position. She’d already reached celebrity status and had an image that her public bought and now she’s fighting hard to regain it.
Here are five rules of damage control that might help Kelly and others who are caught in a storm of bad publicity:
1. Be transparent – It’s better to tell the whole truth and let the public process it all at once than tell a little here and there.
2. Don’t push back – It’s just human nature to be defensive when we’re receiving criticism, but in reality it just makes us look worse. Name-calling, eye rolling and finger pointing play right into our opponent’s hands.
3. Have Clear and Concise Talking Points – Don’t respond with a scripted message, but don’t change your message for each interview either. If you own your mistake, as Kelly did, then REALLY own it. Don’t then turnaround and blame other people for your failures once you think people aren’t looking.
4. Get out there – One of Kelly’s mistakes was to allow cast mates Chante Moore and Lil Mo to get their sides of the story out ahead of her. By the time Kelly made her case, the public had defined her as the problem.
5. Don’t Always Take the High Road – Once you’re out there go with what you know, Saying, “the real truth will come out later” is noble but not advisable.
Let’s hope Kelly can shed the “mean Christian,” image as she takes on her next venture, “Too Fat for Fame,” a reality show that looks for the next “plus size” superstar.
Her real fans, friends and family will continue to root for and support Kelly because they already want the best for her. But there’s another group of people who love to see the worst in us revealed. Damage control doesn’t erase a bad situation, but it can help the public move on to the next thing.
How good are you at protecting your brand? How do your co-workers, bosses and clients perceive you? Will other celebrities learn something from Kelly Price’s media misstep? Let me know your thoughts.