Damage Control: Why Chris Brown Should Care What His Haters Say
5 publicists advise Brown how to get back on track
Oh, Chris. Chris, Chris, Chris. You just had what most would consider a great night at the Grammy's. You performed not once, but twice and won your first Grammy for Best R&B Album for F.A.M.E, an album that performed considerably better than 2009's Graffiti. Your fans undoubtedly cheered for your return to center stage in the music industry. But that's not what the headlines said.
All last week we were treated to articles about your latest Twitter rant, after you told your haters to "f**k off" for criticizing your Grammy performance and win. Your Twitter profile has since been scrubbed clean of any offensive posts and it looks like your publicity team has stepped in and put their foot down -- hard.
Your infamous Twitter rants are nothing new, but are they damaging your career beyond repair? We asked some publicists for their advice. Here's their plan for getting you back on track:
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Thomas Madden, CEO -- TransMedia Group
I'm a crisis management expert and I would urge whomever is counseling Chris to get him to talk in his own style, but suggest more redeeming content. This troubled young man needs to vent, but he also needs purpose and to see the ramifications of what he blurts out and how it wounds his career.
If he were perceived as trying to help others deal with anger management problems similar to his, it would speak louder than words. In fact, it would sing.
Social media should not be in the hands of quick-tempered people. Remember the advice, count to 10 before responding, or wait 24 hours to send that email? Guys like Chris can’t restrain themselves so you keep those personalities off social media.
Jerome Cleary, CEO -- Publicity and Marketing
Right after the incident in 2009 I would have advised Chris Brown to issue a well-written apology quickly and do some concrete community service. The right plan of action at that time would have been to be much more pro-active and nip the problem in the bud. Too many times celebrities want to avoid getting an assault charge when we all know they did assault someone. Why not deal with it like many non- celebrities do and face the music. No pun intended.
Yes, the criticisms keep coming at Chris Brown because the detractors and the public are not satisfied with his responses and remorse. The message from his camp should be of empathy, compassion and get Chris to really spend time on deep emotional growth. They made a few correct steps but they were not that great -- that's why there is still a backlash. No one likes a celebrity who is a liar, evasive and won't take responsibility.
Chris Brown's Twitter rants are a mess. As a publicist I don't think they should close his account but I do think the publicist should step in. You get PR clients to be more social media savvy by spending time in a few meetings going over better ways to address and respond to detractors.
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Kevin Fetterplace, PR Director -- Mojo Working
It seems that Rihanna has either forgiven Chris Brown or moved on from that time 3 years ago. It's the media that still harkens to it. I would also think that Chris Brown would have been full of remorse for what happened, but once more, if the other person can forgive/move on -- shouldn't we too? I don't blame him for being angry.
As for Twitter and other social media tools, yes, some common sense needs to be used when using them. It's the modern equivalent of the late night drunken phone call and as a PR, I would remind my clients of that. However, that is ALL you can do. We are not our client's mother, father and social worker (even if it feels like that's exactly who we are) but rather we are employees who can only do our best to advise our clients. Too many publicists try to control the minutiae in their client's life and that's too much.
Brian Mayes, Founder -- Nashville Publicity Group
Chris Brown's ill-advised Twitter outbursts are always deleted within hours, which tells me that his handlers are not in control. If he was smart, he'd stay above the negativity at all times, reminding the public that he is grateful for the second chance. The clock is ticking on that second chance, and this particular clock is old and worn, with a battery that's nearly dead. Last week's rant never should have been posted. His team surely must have known that he was capable of such a misstep, and yet no protective action was taken. We encourage our clients to be actively engaged with social media, while reminding them to always be aware that every post has the potential to go viral. There may be a delete button on your app, but there's not a delete button on a public post. Once it's out there, it's out there.