The PR Machine
Anyone who works in public relations or experienced the need for public relations professionals knows that a person’s image is as important as their message. How the public perceives an artist or a politician can sway sales, votes and a person’s livelihood. That said, we’ve seen what can happen when someone who should only speak when advised by a public relations professional takes a stab at it on their own. There was the infamous Whitney Houston call to Wendy Williams – a half-baked NY radio shock-jock who revels in her ability to paint any picture just as she wants her listeners to see it – by the end of that unsolicited radio interview Whitney Houston had stooped to physically threatening a D-list radio personality and Williams uses the tirade in her promos to this day; instant credibility to Williams; severely damaging to Houston’s image. This isn’t to say that being a hot-head or foul-mouth thug can’t be good PR. As many a rapper will attest, catching-a-case is the equivalent of positive street-cred; a badge to be worn with pride; you’re real, raw and hard. As someone who worked in the PR field for over 12 years, I would argue that it does NOT sell more records, make you sexier or encourage viewership by the masses, to announce that as a male artist you were sodomized by your manager. It isn’t attractive to mention that your “ass hurt,” from the abusive anal sex. Female fans do not flock to your next project because you can point out that you “got fucked,” while in your boy band. Unless Raz-B intended to NEVER work again and simply damage the reputation of his ex manager and cousin, Chris Stokes, it would be counterintuitive to utter those allegations or cosign his brother’s assertions. From the look of things, Raz has (or had, in light of the recent theatrics) a deal to do a reality show. I’m sure the producers of that show can think of a million other marketing ideas than, “Hey, wouldn’t it really make folks want to watch our project if you were sexually abused when you were 12?!” As I look at and listen to comments that regard the allegations of the Thorton men being a “cry for attention,” or a ploy to garner viewership for their new show, I think, ‘Wow, maybe folks are that dumb.” Most artists, sports figures, politicians and corporate heads have image consultants and spokespeople; PR professionals paid to protect an image and a brand. Barack Obama is not just a talking head and the rough-edges of the rapper, The Game, aren’t coincidental thugishness. Those personas are carefully crafted to maximize the potential for the best possible image and continued financial success. So, if you believe that Raz and his big brother just wanted a little attention by alleging they were raped and/or sodomized, it’s probably the reason you’re paid to work in a profession outside of public relations.
Tell of a glaring example of what you considered poor public relations; where no amount of damage control could fix the public figure’s image.
Keep passin’ the open windows…