It’s easy to see other’s personal brands take a turn for the worse when they’re in the spotlight. But it’s important to take lessons from those disasters. Let’s take a look at some recent issues facing public figures:
If you follow global news (and even if you don’t), you’ve heard about the recent rebellion and protests in Egypt. The president, Honsi Mubarak, took a beating in the media for the lack of decisions spiraling the country into chaos.
One of the big personal branding lessons to take away from this situation is to be open to feedback. The whole country was rebelling, but it still took two weeks for Mubarak to officially step down—not one of the best decisions when you’re running a country.
Recently, young Disney star Miley Cyrus was caught smoking salvia on a video released by a fellow partygoer. Known for her squeaky-clean character Hannah Montana on the Disney channel, the news came as a shock to many of her fans. Also, as a role model to young girls everywhere, the incident caused parents everywhere outrage.
As someone in the public eye, Cyrus should have avoided the situation altogether, knowing what could come of it. But because she’s young, she realizes that she’s going to make mistakes. In a recent interview, she said, “For me it was a bad decision, because of my fans and because of what I stand for,” which shows that she’s willing to admit her mistakes—good news for her personal brand, although she may not be able to completely come back from the incident.
Alice in Chains bassist and Celebrity Rehab alum Mike Starr was recently arrested on drug charges. On the newest season of Celebrity Rehab, Starr served as a shining example of a former patient who was staying clean, despite his turmoil depicted on his season of the show.
Unfortunately, this news can be devastating to his personal brand. Although addiction is an ongoing disease, he positioned himself as a role model and was quickly taken off that pedestal. It’s important for him to instill confidence back into his fans and followers by taking charge of the situation by releasing a statement or rendering the incident by checking back into rehab.
What other recent personal branding disasters do you think provide good lessons?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing consultancy for organizations with products or services that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), national entry-level careers columnist for Examiner.com and blogs about career advice at HeatherHuhman.com.