Last week, we discussed how the media portrays celebrities and how their lives aren’t so “glamourous.” This week I want to dive into reputation management. If you are not sure what that is, it is the control of an individual’s or business’ reputation. For example, Wendy’s fast food restaurants have had a decent reputation in the past. They were known for their affordable, good quality burgers and delicious frosties, however, in 2005, a female customer claimed she had found a severed finger in her chili at a local Wendys. This right here is an example of reputation management because after this incident, Wendy’s public relations professionals had to decide how they were going to handle this disturbing situation and not let Wendy’s good reputation plummet. Although the woman came out years later admitting she had lied about the incident, is was still a hard hit on the Wendys corporation. This is where the job of a public relations professional can become a little stressful.
Another example I thought of that would tie into my love for entertainment and celebrities was the infamous racial slur about Zendaya Coleman from Giuliana Rancic. At the 2015 Oscars last February, Giuliana made a comment on the E! News, Fashion Police saying her dreadlocks must have smelt of “patchouli” and “weed.” After this statement, Coleman took to Instagram to speak about how Rancic’s comment was both, “outrageously offensive” and “a large stereotype.” Once this statement from Coleman was out, Rancic and her public relations team had to figure what they were going to do to manage Rancic’s stellar reputation.
What Rancic first did was send out an apology tweet saying, “Dear @Zendaya, I’m sorry I offended you and others. I was referring to a bohemian chic look. Had NOTHING to do with race and NEVER would!!!” Later, Rancic issued a statement on-camera on E! News apologizing again and she used vocal commiseration and both diversionary and defensive responses to manage her reputation to the public about her attack on Coleman.
I personally think Rancic handled herself very professionally through this sort of crisis and also seemed very sincere and genuine in her multiple apologies. As from what I can see, her solid reputation seems to still be in good standing. She definitely could not have done it without the people who work behind the scenes during this time, (AKA PR reps.) They save a lot of celebrities butts, so I cannot argue that they have a VERY important job.