In the past 72 hours, Nigerian women have learnt that behind every celebrity, there is a large amount of unpalatable secrets covered up under layers of make-up, smiles, red carpet poses and seeming charisma.
This lesson has come from Nigeria’s Beyonce, and ever-delectable Tiwa Savage who recently (and sadly) had to reveal the intrinsic details of her marriage to her former manager, Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun after he leveled terrible and diabolical allegations against her and his own family.
Rather than gloat or take sides, we’ve picked up some PR lessons from this incident and we thought to share.
- DO NOT AIR YOUR DIRTY LAUNDRY ON SOCIAL MEDIA
This is probably the most underrated statement in 2016.
In order to create and sustain the image of a respected celebrity, it is imperative that you are enigmatic because you’ve done a great job of keeping details of your ‘personal’ life away from the public.
If Tee Billz had posted nothing about the troubles in his marriage, we may never have known about it… at least not like this.
- In times of crisis, tell your story. Tell it all.
According to one of the founding fathers of modern PR, Sam Black, there are 3 rules to handling crisis management:
- Tell it all
- Tell it fast
- Tell it truthfully
Tiwa Savage managed to do this quite well with her exclusive interview.
In the video, she was able to draw her audience in (all by herself) by telling her side of the story in such simple language.
It’s also important to note how her body language, the setting and her “costume” played a critical role in the communication of her truth.
Before this video, people had said all sorts about Tiwa.
She did well to address these comments.
- Empathy and storytelling are major keys to winning people over to your side during a crisis
In recent years, more attention has been paid to superfluous engagements and extravagant weddings. Celebrities have their engagements in Nigeria and then travel out to have “Dubai” weddings while ‘detractors’ and single ladies can only watch from their phones and television screens.
Now, Tiwa Savage had a Dubai wedding, making her a bigger object of ridicule.
But her team did something smart.
They “spinned” a problem till it became an advantage.
They used the African folktale/storytelling approach – one that addresses moral or societal issues and gives lessons.
In the interview, Tiwa points out how she overlooked the potentials of a broken marriage because she was scared that she was getting older and the pressure to get married was intense.
Every woman can relate with this.
Then she went further to mention her miscarriage in Jamaica, how her husband went around with other women, stole money from her and how she was the breadwinner of the family but was telling the whole world the opposite to save her husband’s face.
This sounds like a Nollywood movie but it sure got men and women on Tiwa Savage’s side.
- Control your narrative by telling another side of the story
Always give fresh insights aside addressing the issues previously on ground.
People went from feeling sorry for Tee Billz to encouraging Tiwa to divorce him.
- Use the best and most reliable medium to address a crisis
It’s 2016 and social media is “trending”.
It would have been a sin if Tiwa Savage had asked us to stay glued to our TV screen to listen to her exclusive tell-all.
- When using an interview, ensure the interviewer knows what they are doing
If you’ve watched some of the best interviews in the world, you’ll know that the interviewer is as important as the person being interviewed.
Watch Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Michael Jackson which served as one of the biggest points of her career
Tiwa’s interview was by all journalistic standards a poor one for a journalist like Azuka Ogujiuba who failed to engage and empathize with her interviewee.
— Newsroom Nigeria (@NewsroomDaily) April 30, 2016
There was an overwhelming “disconnect” and an obvious lack of interest oozing from Azuka’s side.
See what people are saying about her on Nigerian Twitter.
It didn’t end there.
Some Nigerians managed to find her Instagram handle and proceeded to give her pieces of their minds.
Regardless of Azuka’s disconnect, Tiwa still managed to pull an emotional weight.
We hope both parties are able to solve their issues amicably.