A couple of weeks ago, pop star Beyoncé took some heat from interwebs because she allegedly lip synched her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at President Obama’s inauguration It was field day for the press, as reports about how the singer used a prerecorded track at the event poured in. Practically every publication, from the snarky gossip site Gawker to bigger more reputable sources such as the LA Times were on the story.
The social media realm was also abuzz and the topic of Beyoncé lip synching shot up the trending charts. Tweets and posts ranging from people being disappointed to fans coming to the defense of the pop star flooded streams and news feeds.
After all the online hullabaloo, though, Beyoncé kept her composure (both online and offline), delivered an awesome Super Bowl Half-Time performance on Sunday, and silenced all the critics that harped on her for lip synching.
Indeed, the pop star handled that online crisis quite well, and we think that a lot of us can pick up a thing or two from her actions. When faced with online criticism and pressure, countless individuals and brands end up making things worse, often by being too defensive. In this case though, the singer took care of the situation with class and was able to emerge practically unscathed.
Whether you’re trying to manage some hateful comments on your blog or dealing with negative reactions to your online ads, the following rep management lessons are pointers that you should really consider:
Address the situation, but don’t make a big fuss about it – Beyoncé explained that she decided to sing along with the pre-recorded track because she didn’t feel comfortable performing live with no sound check and in the middle of the not-so-ideal weather. She mentioned that she’s a perfectionist and she didn’t want to mess up at such a huge and emotional event (it was the president’s inauguration, after all).
She also said that the practice was very common in the industry, and she was proud of her performance, nevertheless. Beyoncé’s explanation was short and simple. She was not feebly apologetic , nor was she overly defensive either. She explained herself in a dignified, “as a matter of fact” type of way, and she didn’t make a big deal out of it.
We think that this is the best way to address such a situation. Stay calm, explain the facts, and don’t make such a huge fuss about it. (The media will do that for you.)
Show, don’t tell – Instead of holding some big press event, trying to convince people how great of a performer she is, Beyoncé just went on stage at the Super Bowl Half Time Show and performed. She performed well that there wasn’t a dull moment on stage. Plus, her performance was so obviously live that no one would think that she was singing from a pre-recorded track.
When you have people doubting your products, services, or even your character, remember that it’s more effective to SHOW rather than tell. Take a leaf out of Beyoncé’s book, and instead of trying to explain yourself in words, do so in action. Push out products or services at the highest quality so that no one can give you a bad review. Or deliver so much value that you won’t need to tell people who good you are. Letting your products, services, and actions speak for themselves is a hundred times more effective than using words.
Don’t mind the haters – Don’t bother trying to apologize, defend yourself—or worse—actually try to tell off your haters (no matter how tempting it may be). Face the reality that some people will hate you no matter what you do, so trying to please every single troll on the web is a lost cause. Now, do note that if you REALLY did something wrong, unethical, or tactless then it’s probably best to take some PR moves to remedy the situation. However, if you didn’t do anything wrong or illegal, then just let the negative comments pass. The trolls will find someone new to hate on tomorrow.
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