Lessons For PR Practise From Charlie Sheen and The HIV Announcement

So yesterday, Charlie Sheen went on the Today Show to announce that he is HIV positive. The actor mentioned that he found out a while ago but is just speaking up now because a lot of people have tried to blackmail him with the information and he’d just like to get it out by himself.

See the announcement here

His publicist, Larry Solters, a veteran PR pro was commissioned to handle the announcement. He later spoke with PR News and shared insights on the strategy deployed for the announcement.

These are useful tips for PR pros and brand managers especially in times of crisis.

  1. “Marketing Communication is a fun job, so if you can’t have fun while doing it, then you might as well not be doing it.”    The best publicists and Professionals are those who love doing the job. They are the most creative and the best performers under pressure.
  1. The client always has to come first. The message should be in his own words, his own time, whatever he feels comfortable with. The PR guy’s job is to just subtly guide, suggest and but never impose. Larry also mentioned that assisting the client is key, and so is respecting and supporting whatever decision they make.
  1. Honesty will always win on the long run. Although, it is widely believed that propaganda reigns supreme in communications, Larry Solters maintains “There is nothing better for a campaign than for the client to be honest…”
  1. The more is not always the merrier. Quality over quantity. Normally, the marketing orientation is to push the message in people’s faces, but Larry supported Charlie in picking a top quality, highly respected platform to communicate his information, thereby adding authenticity and generating much sympathy. This was important, knowing well Charlie’s past drama and controversies which were well played out in the media.
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