Tiwa Savage, a renowned Nigerian female artist is currently embroiled in a scandal. She is the victim of a blackmail according to several sources and an interview in which she revealed the news herself. Her blackmailer had threatened to reveal indecent footage of her unless she pays a ransom.
This got me thinking about the fact that crisis does not only happen to organizations but we as individuals can be in the middle of a crisis as we are our biggest brand and some of the crisis management arsenals we’ve learnt so far in management communication can be very effective.
Now let’s go back to the main point. So far, I have deduced that she’s been employing a combination of the inoculation and the “yes…but” approach.
“I’m not going to call it a s*x tape,” she says, “but it’s a tape between me and the guy I’m dating right now.”
Inoculation sort of acts like a vaccine that prevents the “crisis virus” from attacking the brand. It is a pre-emptive strategy that requires anticipating a crisis. Tiwa was preparing the public for the negative event by communicating a dose of the accusation together with counter arguments that refutes it. This strategy usually happens before the crisis breaks and it is particularly effective if the crisis is likely to be severe.
She’s also using the “Yes… but” strategy in the sense that she acknowledged to making the video but also insinuated she had done nothing unlawful or wrong because it was a “normal act” and it was with her lover.
She said that the video was accidentally uploaded on Snapchat by her partner who erased it after realizing his mistake, but it had already been obtained by a stalker.
As individuals, we may encounter a significant crisis at some point as well as a slew of lesser challenges. This is why a crisis management strategy is essential.
Tiwa was honest and composed during her interview. In the face of a crisis, the goal of communication should be to avoid a major harm to your reputation and be a trustworthy source of your own narrative. She is in control of the narrative.
There will undoubtedly be a backlash (public opinion), but it will be contained because she broke the story herself and portrayed herself as the victim.
So in essence, what I’m saying is that crisis management is not simply a support system for companies, but we as individuals need to hone these skills especially because we never know when we’ll need them. Other tactics that we can use in crisis management include flat denial, rebuttal, polishing the halo, and a few more. In most cases, the circumstances will decide the most appropriate course of action.
When a crisis occurs, the objective of communication is to mitigate the negative impact of the incident. By selecting intelligently from the communication arsenals, we may avoid reactions from the public and in some cases, even strengthen the brand.