With the price of success often comes a loss of privacy – and it’s something which high profile people, whether celebrities or business executives have to understand and deal with. In today’s uber-hyper media world, family members are also affected – and that’s a big change for many.
Two recent high-profile stories which have captured a ton of attention and surely have sparked many calls with crisis communications executives or a crisis PR Agency:
- Nell Diamond tweeted “supportive” words for her father Bob Diamond after his resignation as Barclays chief executive officer for supposedly manipulating manipulated interbank lending rates; She tweeted offensive language to British Chancellor George Osborne and Labour Party leader Ed Milliband. She then rescinded the text (but it lives on), saying: ‘No one in the world I admire more than my dad. 16yrs building Barclays. Shame to see the mistakes of few tarnish the hard work of so many.’
- She hasn’t been able to live it down, with the UK Daily Mail writing about: “Diamond Bob’s spoiled brat” – and making her a part of the story. I’d imagine not what her father wanted, and something which could never have happened in the days before media.
- Brad Pitt’s mother wrote a letter to her hometown newspaper, criticizing President Obama – and naturally that brought a lot of attention.
- The Huffington Post reported on this and quoted me extensively: “For better or worse, celebrities have wacky parents, just like the rest of us mere mortals. One only wishes that many celebrity parents realize that, because of their last name, their words are going to be taken in a whole different light,” says Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR. “Celebrity parents can absolutely hurt [or help] their child’s career. We have worked for celebrities who we have had to advise to stay away from certain family members for concern of how media would portray the relationship.”Just as for celebrities, their family members need to learn quickly that once fame arrives, the spotlight shines brighter on what you say and do.”There is a price for success, and for parents of celebrities it means they have to watch what they say and do or can embarrass their children,” Torossian says. “When celebrities become famous, the lives of their immediate families also change: do you think one of Justin Bieber’s siblings could hold down a normal teenage job? Could Ryan Reynolds’ dad have a regular nine to five, where everyone didn’t whisper ‘wow that’s Ryan Reynolds’ dad?’ Life changes for celebrity parents and smart parents recognize it and adapt accordingly.”
One of the services 5WPR works in is helping to adjust high-profile people to success – from hiring wardrobe consultants/stylists to media training, to privacy documents and lawyers. Its all part and parcel of success, and I am sure a service many PR Agencies will be expected to increasingly provide in the years to come – for family members and those successful.