{Rules of PR no. 12} Bitten by the Hand that Feeds

You know that saying, don’t bite the hand that feeds you? Well, what if it was the opposite way around? What if you were bitten by the hand that fed? Do you bite back, or let it keep biting until the chewing subsides and it swallows to its belly’s content?

Welcome to the world of the celebrity.

Michael Jackson

The first person who experienced the ‘raise them up and knock them back down’ to its truest form was Michael Jackson….big time.

Sure he had a strange personality and three-quarters of us didn’t really understand him. Half of us loved him and half of us hated him, all the while some of us were convinced he was a pedophile. But it was our society that put him up on the pedestal he stood upon for 40 years, and it was our same society that took a witch’s blade and cut him off at the knees: ostracizing him for being off-colour (no pun intended), while, praising him for being a musical, dancing genius.

Think about iTunes. Can you imagine how many songs were downloaded in the wake of Michael Jackson’s death?

According to Rolling Stone, on the 26th, and I’m sure it’s more than that now, Jackson saw a surge of popularity on the popular digital music site posthumously. These were probably downloaded by the same people who weren’t his fans before. Because guess what? His true fans already had his music on records, CDs and they already had the digital versions too.

What does that tell you?

Britney Spears

Do you remember when Britney Spears was the hottest commodity since sliced bread? I’m talking the days of “Hit Me Baby One More Time” and “Toxic.” These were the days, where she went from opening for ‘NSync, to being a co-headlining performer at the MTV VMA’s with the boy band, to being the performer to watch at the VMAs.

And then the world came crashing down in the land of bare belly buttons and pale pink lipstick.

Oh, how times have changed.

It wasn’t too long ago (one year to be exact this summer), that the likes of Perez Hilton, DListed, TMZ and all the other celeb-o-stalkers were calling her an unfit mother, wishing someone would take her kids away and denouncing Blackout.

These were the same people who loved her saccharine, sticky mess of a self pre-My Prerogative.

Y’all get me?

Perez Hilton

But the one person who really stands out, recently, in the whirlwind of celebrity is Perez Hilton.

Breaking it down to the root, Mario Lavandeira, Perez Hilton’s legal name, was a kid from Miami who enjoyed reading and talking about celebrity gossip. So much so, he became a blogger; Hilton became the blogger.

Love him, or hate him, Perez Hilton was the ‘go to’ place for anything celebrity. As much as you and I both know, and as much as celebrities hate to admit it, celebrities want to be talked about by Perez; good or bad (though there is a limit.)

If this wasn’t the case, why would he be so popular?

Perez was absolutely right, in his defense video, when he so boldly said, he didn’t need the publicity for tweeting about his misfortune at the Much Music Awards in Toronto earlier this month.

PerezHilton.com gets a few million hits per month and is a Technorati Top 30 blog. That’s a lot of traffic.

So in all fairness, sure he can dish it, but can he take it, aside – do you really think he’s after publicity? To the extent some people have accused him of?

Look at the numbers.

Millions of people flock to Perez Hilton every single day. PerezHilton.com shells it out like no other, and gets exclusive information that doesn’t require digging because it’s handed to him… on a pink and purple platter. A platter laced in so many sparkles, that over the past few years Perez has risen to celebrity status himself.

The same people that gave him status – aka the public – are the same people who wanted to take it away. That’s pretty steep. And now celebrities are happily playing pot calling the kettle black. It’s like they’ve been waiting for this moment for years.

And that’s the hook and well as the fall.

Little Pink Book’s Rule of PR #12:
Don’t think for one second that one’s fame and notoriety is set in stone.
There is only one Zeus and everything is for a time.
It’s like having a job — no one is unstoppable, unbreakable or untouchable.
Get yourself together and be humble.
Julius Caesar was murdered and Al Gore went on to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
Everything has a time and a place.

 –

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved

Comments

  1. Great post!

    Another example is that of late British reality star Jade Goody- she won Big Brother, had her own reality show, book, and perfume. She was the “People's Princess” until she came on Celebrity Big Brother and was embroiled in a race row. After that, she was hated by the public. However, when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, the media simply forgot about the race row and she was on the front page of every magazine & paper. Love her or hate her, you still knew who she was.

  2. Love the post Sasha! You brought up a lot of great points, and left us to “ponder” on a lot of different things. The media is an interesting beast, but a beast nonetheless. Perez (as u mentioned) is starting to learn that, as some of the other artists you mentioned had already learned. I still wonder WHY this happens…sometimes I think it's because us (the public) eat this stuff up…so that drives the media to do it. Who knows? Maybe that's for another blog post?? LoL. In any case, great read (as always) =)

  3. Good post, Sasha. I think deep down we all have the urge to be noticed. Whether it's “fame” or simply an acknowledgment by a peer, we all want others to know we stand out. It's one of the 7 Deadly Sins, after all!

  4. Good post, Sasha. I think deep down we all have the urge to be noticed. Whether it's “fame” or simply an acknowledgment by a peer, we all want others to know we stand out. It's one of the 7 Deadly Sins, after all!

  5. Good post, Sasha. I think deep down we all have the urge to be noticed. Whether it's “fame” or simply an acknowledgment by a peer, we all want others to know we stand out. It's one of the 7 Deadly Sins, after all!