For right or wrong, the media loves to exploit celebrities...and, for the most part, celebrities (plus their publicists) love it, too. Look at all the major celeb meltdowns we seen in this post-YouTube, post-TMZ era. Paris Hilton. Mel Gibson. Tom Cruise. Michael Richards. Nicole Richie. Lindsay Lohan. Grey's Anatomy's Dr. Burke. Britney.
Media watched, gawked and mocked as one PR crisis after another drove ratings, web traffic and headlines.
Bobby Brown is the latest notorious celeb in trouble. This time, instead of the media just piling onto the celeb's scandal, a radio station has stepped up and given a helping hand.
Hot 99.5 in Washington, DC paid his bail (getting him out after a 3-day stay in lock up) as well as his overdue child support payments to the mother of two of his kids born prior to his marriage with Whitney Houston.
In exchange, Bobby Brown will co-host with Kane during the morning show on the rhythmic hit station, putting him to work for his money. It also gives Brown a chance to air his version of the events, entertain, be the spotlight and say any mea culpas he wishes to give.
Massive worldwide publicity references on the entertainment and late night TV shows, cable network newscasts and talk shows, other music and talk radio stations, newspapers...and, of course, the Internet.
And now it's a front webpage web event for Hot 99.5.
Radio station's MUST get back to budgeting a line item called "opportunistic marketing fund". It's a forgotten (but still valuable) brand builder. Planned and budgeted marketing dollars kept ready to use for the station to do good works in the community, creating positive goodwill (and potentially far-reaching word-of-mouth marketing buzz).
Trying to suddenly find $$$ in tight budgets for the station to respond to sudden "opportunities" (as Hot 99.5 has done with Mr. Prerogative) is minimally complicated and difficult. Usually to the point where nothing happens and the opportunity is lost.
Build "opportunity fund" mechanisms into your budgets and explain it to the controllers what that means. And then wait for opportunities. Don't worry...you won't have to wait very long.
After all, celebrities will continue to meltdown...
Just don't forget to put out the press releases and viral video.
More melting down" update (3/2): But will Bobby Brown back out? Update (3/5): Yep, he's out. Even so, Hot's effort was worth it.
Always the drama...it's not easy Being Bobby Brown...
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Friday, March 02, 2007,