Mike “The Reputation Doctor” Paul, President of MGP & Associates Public Relations, has worked in celebrity crisis management for more than 15 years. In light of Chris Brown’s recent plea for fans to rally radio support, Mike offered VIBE five bits of advice of which he thinks Rihanna’s ex should take note. —Tracy Garraud
① Publicists Should Handle The Public
Mark Geragos who was [Chris’] attorney throughout this entire ordeal, is not a PR person. He gave him bad advice. Mark loves the media and has an ego bigger than any star that he’s ever represented. I know him personally and I know Chris personally so this is a very familiar story for me. Mark thought it was best to protect [Chris] by having him say nothing. Now we see him reading to kids and people think it’s a publicity stunt because it doesn’t seem authentic and it’s not. Big message to attorneys, stick to your expertise, you hurt the people tremendously when you try to do something as important as reputation management and crisis public relations. Chris got very poor advice at a critical time. If you want excellent advice you have to go to people who are going to tell you things you’re not going to like.
② Every Song’s A Comeback Song
I’ve heard the songs that [Chris] has released thus far… they’re not as good as his old stuff. Just because your name’s Chris Brown, doesn’t mean you’re going to get played. There have been constant artists who have bounced back, but that’s only when the music is really, really better. And to put that much pressure on your fans, you need to be humble enough to realize, ‘Maybe my music isn’t as good as it used to be.’ Don’t badger your fans. Keep making music. Chris has a double whammy. One, [he] has to prove [himself] even more with excellent music and two, [he] has tarnished [his] reputation with a crime to society that is considered one of the worst things you can do in life. The only things left are molestation and murder.
③ Pull The Weeds
When you have a crisis it’s like you have a disease. When you have a disease, you have to get at its root or else it grows back like a weed and continues to be a problem. So the root of [Chris’] crisis isn’t that he doesn’t have music that’s being played, or that people are dissing him. The root is, [he] beat up a woman. That is such a mark in our brain, such a negative brand. The way you get that out and change that is by work on yourself. It’s exactly the mistake that Tiger Woods is making right now. When you don’t understand Crisis PR, you make the mistake of thinking all you gotta do is come make a hit record and things will be fine. If he had the biggest song of the year, but then hit another woman, no one would ever go back to him.