Galliano Fashions a PR Comeback

 Galliano Fashions a PR Comeback

THE PR VERDICT: “A” (PR Perfect) for John Galliano.

Is John Galliano’s exile from the fashion world over? The designer has finally broken his silence, following his spectacular fall from grace in 2011 after making anti-Semitic rants in Paris. One episode in particular was videotaped, prompting his immediate firing from Dior and later conviction by a French court.

In his first interview since the scandal, Galliano opens up to a very sympathetic Vanity Fair.  His story has the making of an epic novel – the “un-idyllic” childhood in a multi-cultural but rough London neighborhood, where he was bullied for his homosexuality; his ascent into the world of high fashion; and the demons unlocked in fashion’s world of high pressure and unhealthy pampering. En plus, the unclear provenance of the incriminating video, fed to the media before Galliano’s arrest, provides just a hint of conspiracy. Vanity Fair spares no effort to exonerate, consulting and quoting experts to make the case that, when he hissed those spiteful things to people, Galliano just couldn’t help himself: Alcohol and drugs had simply made him insane.

Center stage in the article is Galliano’s contrition. Friends and other supporting sources, such as Jewish leaders he met through an executive of Vanity Fair’s publisher Condé Nast, vouch for the same. He studied the Holocaust, attended service at a synagogue, and is finally making tentative steps back into his profession, supported by fashion royalties such as Oscar de la Renta and Anna Wintour. Shalom, John, welcome back!

THE PR VERDICT: “A” (PR Perfect) for John Galliano. With a little help from influential friends, a comeback is always possible.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: For perfect rebound PR, timing is everything. Prepare the line-up of your supporters carefully, and make sure potential antagonists remain silent; one of the key stakeholders in this saga, Galliano’s former employer LVMH, declined to comment due to ongoing litigation about Galliano’s compensation. (The article hints at a soon-to-be-expected “human-to-human” apology from Galliano to his former bosses.) The glitterati love a tormented, artistic soul, and once confession and amends have been made, one may be pardoned and permitted to go back to work. Our PR advice? Post-comeback, work in silence.

 

The Boss Bares All

 The Boss Bares All

The PR Verdict: “B” (Almost a Winner) for Bruce Springsteen and his decision to talk to the New Yorker.

Is there something we didn’t know about Bruce Springsteen? Apparently so. Pre-publicity for the next issue of the New Yorker is generating headlines with a massive 16,000-word profile that lets readers into The Boss’s darkest secret: He has been battling depression for years.

Springsteen made the personal revelations during the weeks he was being interviewed and trailed by journalist David Remnick, the author of the profile. Advance PR tells us that Springsteen will come across to readers as a thoughtful and considerate soul with a high level of self-awareness and introspection. And, one could say, well-versed in the language of therapy.

The multi-platinum musician has been seeing a therapist since 1982. Remnick says that Springsteen avoided drugs due to the “thread of mental instability that ran through his family,” including Springsteen’s father, who battled “paralyzing depressions.” Additionally, Springsteen’s wife Patti Scialfa confirms in the article that she is bipolar. Such revelations might have been sensationalized in the hands of a lesser publication, but this elegant, straightforward bastion of publishing was the right choice to discuss an intensely personal story.

The PR Verdict: “B” (Almost a Winner) for Bruce Springsteen and his decision to talk to the New Yorker: a sensible place to discuss a wider social issue.

The PR Takeaway: Where you say something matters as much as what you say. Top marks to Springsteen for choosing the New Yorker to air an intensely personal issue. This might have gotten big airplay on E! Entertainment News and celebrity publications, but if Springsteen wanted to make some wider nuanced points, this was the way to go.

To read more, click here.

What’s your opinion of Bruce Springsteen’s decision to reveal this intensely personal information? Give us your PR Verdict!

 

What Did Ryan O’Neal Describe As Pointless?

ryan oneal1 What Did Ryan ONeal Describe As Pointless?

The PR Verdict: “C” for Ryan O’Neal for an interview he was struggling to get through.

Why was there a band-aid on Ryan O’Neal’s nose during his interview with Matt Lauer on Today?  The former film icon has just published a memoir of his thirty year relationship with the equally famous Farrah Fawcett, called Both of Us.   The book he said is not a tell all – but rather a tribute to the highs and lows of their volatile relationship.   Bizarrely, the distracting band-aid remained on his nose for the entire interview and was never mentioned.

This was however the second attempt at an interview.  The first interview never got off the ground with O’Neal leaving the studio in a frantic hurry after what he later conceded might have a been a panic attack.  “I don’t know what was wrong,” he confessed to Matt Lauer second time around. “I just broke out into a terrible sweat, so I just went home.”

His second interview was emotional and full of stops and starts.  He talked of his family’s problems including Fawcett’s addiction to antibiotics.  Lauer quoted O’Neal in the memoir as saying the couple’s behaviors arose because “we both had a feeling of leading pointless lives.”  O’Neal looked genuinely startled.  “Did I say pointless?” he asked rhetorically.  Even Matt Lauer didn’t know where to turn.

The PR Verdict:  “C” for Ryan O’Neal for an interview he was clearly summoning all his energy to get through.  A gentler print interview might have been a better route for this client.

PR Takeaway:  This interview had the hallmarks of a sympathetic therapist talking to a troubled patient.  Sometimes it might be better to give the PR prize of a national interview a pass, and stick with some gentler, less exposing forms of publicity.

To read more and see the interview click here.

What ‘s your PR Verdict?

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