In PR, when a scandal occurs it is always beneficial as to the outcome for the company/brand/person etc. to immediately be honest, forthwright and issue a statement apologizing or making the issue clearer as to what really happened. If the press release or statement comes off as blurry, evasive or unclear it is extremely detrimental to the company/brand/person etc. Here is an example of a bad way to handle a scandal:
Ghanaian actress, Nadia Buari has been dropped by her US based PR firm, JMG MEDIA RELATIONS. A few weeks ago, new stories emerged online claiming that the Actress, Nadia Buari lied about the gown she wore to the Pan African Film Festival in February 2011. The Press release issued by the PR Firm credited Oscar De La Renta as the designer. It turned out that Oscar De La Renta denied ever making the Dress and contacted the management company to sue. The management company quickly issued a press statement washing their hands off nadia and her supoosed 10k USD dress..This is the press release
which caught the attention of the oscar group-”Febuary 18,2011 – Los Angeles, California – Ghana’s Lead Actress, Nadia Buari attended the opening night Gala for the 19th Annual Pan African Film Festival held at the Culver Plaza Theatre in Los Angeles California. The Award winning actress famous for her role in the African Blockbuster Movie, Beyonce: The Presidents Daughter adorned the PAFF Red carpet in a Black Oscar De La Renta gown”
Contact was made with Joy Onyeukwu CEO of JMG a leading Consultant for African Celebrity clients, Events and Products. She is well known for her expertise in Celebrity Public relatons, within the realm of modern African Media. We asked her the following questions and below are her responses:
Q: Investigative reports posted on a Ghanaian blog revealed that Oscar De La Renta denied ever making the Black Dress quoted in a Press Release issued by JMG MEDIA RELATIONS. A few weeks later, your company issued a letter announcing the “Withdrawal of Media representation” for Ghanaian actress, Nadia Buari. Did the fake Oscar De La Renta dress claim have anything to do with this?
A: In relation to the Oscar De La Renta Company, I am limited to the information I can divulge publicly. Our decision to part ways with Ms.Buari was based on a mutual understanding. We wish her the best in her career endeavours.
Q: Prior to this Oscar De La Renta scandal, it is rumoured that, there had been exisiting conflict between your P.R Firm and Nadia Buari’s mother who is also her manager.
A: Not to my knowledge. We dealt solely with Ms. Buari..
Q: There are reports that she blamed your firm for not ensuring her daughter, Nadia’s career profile outshined that of Omotola Jalade Ekeinde’s which was submitted to PAFF for the Roundtable discussion.
A: Not exactly. It was just a minor misunderstanding A Manager is expected to look out for their Client’s best interest. Ms.Buari had quite an impressive profile as well. On the other hand, Mrs.Ekeinde’s Bio was submitted by her Management – Bishop Entertainment Consult. JMG only assisted with the Media Distribution to the African Press and provided pictures of both Actresses to accompany the Press Release.
Q: You had a personal relationship with Nadia Buari
before she became your Client. When you realized she lied about the Dress, why couldn’t you protect her instead of dropping her like hot coal?
A: Nadia is like a sister to me and I would do anything to protect her. Nothing justifies the name-calling she’s received in the recent past. As humans,we are bound to make mistakes.
Q: You are well known for playing an instrumental role in the early days of Nollywood actress, Ini Edo. Your Company also handles Media Relations for the Ex-Miss World, Agbani Darego, Ghanaian Actor, John Dumelo, Super Eagles midfielder, Sani Kaita, the Legendary Mike Okri amongst others. Till date, there has been no public scandal with your Company involved. Do you think it was a mistake to have Nadia Buari as a client?
A: Not at all. For the record, I enjoyed a very pleasant working relationship.It saddens me that our relationship has come to this Every experience is an opportunity to learn. No matter how bad the situation may look, I don’t regret ever representing her. She has a wonderful personality and I hope that soon enough, every wrong impression of her in the Media will be corrected.
A: Can you correct the impression we have on her Romantic relationship with congo singer Fally Ipupa? there are first hand reports that there is actually an on-going sexual relationship between Nadia Buari and Fally Ipupa which is contrary to the Official Statement from JMG MEDIA RELATIONS. Was this another lie?
A: No further comments. Please feel free to contact Ms.Buari’s new Management company.