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16/09/2013 by
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5 Lessons From Lindsay Lohan About PR

I’m sure you’ve seen it, Lindsay Lohan the child-star-gone-wrong. She’s fighting against more than drug addiction; this time, she’s fighting to get her reputation back.

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After multiple DUIs and 5 or so rehabs (I lost count), that daunting task is one that should be closely observed by all PR pros.

Lindsay has recently unveiled it all in her interview with Oprah.

The greatest asset a company, or person for this matter, can possess is their reputation. It’s the biggest reason why public relations is so important for a company.

Sometimes the best way to learn what to do is to know what not to do. Let’s look at five lessons we can learn from Lindsay Lohan.

1. OWN up—take responsibility for your mistakes.

Getting caught driving under the influence is one thing. Lying to the police gets you to a whole new level of “uh oh.” When crisis hits you like a car, lying or even bending the truth a little can seem like an attractive option, but don’t do it!

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Photo: Clarity Way

It turned things worse for Lindsay and it will turn things sour for you, too. Instead, admit to the mistake if it was your’s and then go further—take responsibility. Have a plan of action on how you will set it right.

This series on OWN was Lindsay’s opportunity to make things right (brings a new meaning to the network’s name).

2. Media will be relentless.

I think we can all agree that Lindsay has not had a good media life. She’s an easy target because of her bad-girl attitude. Even in her interview, Oprah asks Lindsay the tough questions.

Whether a journalist likes you or not, rarely matters. If you say the wrong thing or there is a shocking truth, it will end up on the Internet. Like George Orwell said, “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else in public relations.”

Be prepared for their tricky questions.

3. Be honest…but not stupid.

Tagging off of the first lesson, honesty is key in public relations and overcoming crisis. However, know how to say it and when not to say it.

The best cure for this is to think before you speak…or type in some cases.

4. Don’t rely on the good to cover your bad.

From a young age Lindsay was successful at her work. However, she made the unforgivable error thinking that her great movies in the past will carry her through any personal screw-ups.

This flows into another good lesson, especially for CEOs: Your personal life will affect your work life, no matter how hard you try to keep them separate.

5. If you can’t beat it—use it.

This one Lindsay actually is doing right. She’s screwed up to the point where she can no longer hide from it, so she is embracing it.

While being in and out of rehab was a pain, she can now encourage others to get addiction free through sharing her story through her OWN interview.

Sometimes, embracing the crisis and mistakes in your company and using them to make your company and communities around you better will be the best thing for your brand.

Many companies, like Dominos Pizza, have turned their crisis into good publicity pushing them further then they could have ever gone before.

About the Author
Alicia Lawrence is a Harrisburg-based writer specializing in communication and health. She works as a content coordinator for WebpageFX and is the founder of MarCom Land. For more about Alicia, visit her website or follow her on Twitter @Alicia_Lw.

 

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Comments (7)

  • Igor Beuker 16/09/2013, 22:07

    Hi Alicia,

    I like the (fresh) angle you took this story, same for the insights.

    Hope to read you here more often!

     
    • Alicia Lawrence
      17/09/2013, 01:44

      Thanks for the kind words, Igor! I’m sure you will be seeing more from me soon.

       
  • Laurens Bianchi
    17/09/2013, 09:20

    Great insights from an interesting point of view. Charlie Sheen could be an interesting one as well!

     
  • Alicia Lawrence
    23/09/2013, 15:00

    Hi Laurens! Ha ha Charlie would be another good one! Thanks for the kind words!

     
  • Zachary Zachary
    24/09/2013, 11:29

    We presented. I tried to say a similar thing to a restaurant manager who delivered great food but his attitude was shocking and his staff were embarrassed.
    I also work with male perpetrators of violence who need to accept what they are doing and stop it.
    These are life skill messages. As human beings as well as brands need to remember the actual relationship they have not what they think they have.

     
    • Alicia Lawrence
      24/09/2013, 15:21

      Well said, Zachary! Thanks for commenting.