How easy is it to turn the PR spotlight on and off? That might be the question that Prince, the son of the late Michael Jackson, may need to ponder. The performer’s oldest son has just turned sixteen and is now making tentative steps into the world of celebrity entertainment. His family is protective and has made clear they and Prince are unavailable for comment. But is it possible to have your celebrity cake and eat it?
Prince is a busy sixteen-year-old. Currently studying at an expensive private school he has made a number celebrity debuts in the past three months, claiming “he wants to work.” Promoting a Mr. Pink Ginseng drink on Extra with his aunt La Toya, he later followed up with an appearance on Entertainment Tonight, interviewing the cast of Disney’s film “OZ the Great and Powerful”.” Most recently he had his first cameo role playing a trauma victim in 90210.
Three media appearances later he remains tight-lipped and avoids all interviews with the media: certainly not the standard tactic for anyone trying to kick-start a career. The ever present La Toya gave a statement to the media via their retained PR agency IT Girl Public Relations saying, she was “helping her nephew work.” The statement went on to explain that, “As his loving aunt,” she was “diligently assisting him.” No comment from Prince and no further comment from La Toya. Is this a sustainable PR strategy?
The PR Verdict: “C” (Distinctly OK ) for Prince and his aunt La Toya. There could be trouble ahead.
The PR Takeaway: Being half in and half out only makes half sense. Yes, it is understandable that Prince Jackson wants to keep his privacy. His father’s disastorous attempts to safeguard the family’s privacy are well documented. But with a family history like his own, new forays into the media while jealously guarding privacy, are doomed to inevitable failure. Hiding behind aunt La Toya will only work for a limited while. Being half in and half looks unsustainable. It might be better to delay a career until good and ready.