Hilaria Baldwin Has a Huge PR Problem
In the words of Amy Schumer, “I get it.”
In between my cousins' thick Nu Yawker ‘Youse guys’ and my ‘Y’all’s,’ I like to say I’m a southern New Yorker.
And I don’t stop there. I owned a house on the Jersey Shore for sixteen years. Naturally, I was a Jersey girl. When my Jersey friends balk, I remind them I was an actual homeowner.
It’s what I call a sense of humor.
Hilaria Baldwin calls it the truth.
Personally, I want to like her. She seems to have tamed the beast in Alec Baldwin. And a mother of five is someone I admire. It’s a beautiful thing.
Unfortunately, she’s lost me and much of the world. Or should I say, something worse has happened?
She’s lost her credibility.
What’s worrisome is how long she got away with it. Classmates in Massachusetts had to be watching and shaking their heads. Twenty-seven years is a long time to be an American before transitioning to another heritage with the accompanying accent.
And of course, forgetting how to pronounce a piece of produce.
Especially one that is a staple in the life and diet of most fitness fanatics.
So what caused all this commotion? Or conmocion? I can’t help myself. Most writers are looking up the Spanish word for cucumber. I decided to be different. If you care, that elusive word is Pepino. One we’re not soon to forget. But back to the conmocion.
I’m pretty sure Hilaria might be regretting that sexy selfie meets baby pic.
It uncovered much more than she had taken off that day.
Three things could help her recover from this huge PR nightmare.
1. Think and assess the situation
Is this a big PR problem or a minor one?
It’s a big one. Hilaria misrepresented herself and based a career upon that persona. Or you could say impersonation. This wasn’t a temporary lapse in judgment, it persisted for years.
In the PR world, you need to think before you react.
This means grabbing the shovel from someone before they bury themselves further and release multiple public responses. Hint…Hilaria stop talking. Protesting the truth and acting outraged is making things worse.
It’s great Hilaria’s husband, brother, and step-daughter love her. But it doesn’t reinforce her credibility. It may speak to her likability but it does nothing in the form of damage control.
Reacting emotionally on social media with more twists of the truth only further compounds the original deception.
2. Tell the truth and be authentic
People tend to like the truth. They want to believe in authenticity.
This is especially true in the days of the internet.
Social media is based on relationships.
A sense that you actually know the person either literally or through business. And in the world of celebrities, the feeling you know the person you don’t really know.
We gravitate towards people and communities we relate to, aspire to, or admire.
It’s something futurist and author Faith Popcorn calls ‘Clanning.’
It’s one of seventeen consumer behaviors in the renowned expert’s TrendBank. It is defined by Popcorn’s BrainReserve as “Belonging to a group which represents common feelings, causes, or ideals; validating one’s own belief system.”
When we follow a celebrity, an author, or an influencer, it is not much different than how we choose which friends and social media groups to follow.
We align ourselves with people we wish to be a part of and who somehow underscore who we are.
Nothing is more natural than the health and fitness movement.
Hilaria Baldwin is speaking to people who cut destructive physical aspects out of their lives in favor of ‘clean’ living. They are natural holistic people. She has also incorporated her children into her brand and speaks to those with family values.
She needs to tell the truth and come emotionally clean to recover from this.
3. Don’t play the victim
Hilaria consciously misled people and built a career upon it.
While this experience may be unpleasant, she is not a victim. She created this situation.
She needs to own it rather than saying people are hurting her feelings.
We can’t blame others when bad behavior originated with us. It will further inflame the situation. Adults are accountable for their decisions and actions.
It isn’t a reinvention when you are making up falsehoods about who you are and your past. It is a lie. It is a fabrication.
Hilaria developed what we call ‘her own voice’ in the publishing industry.
The people who support and purchase her brand want to believe the advice she delivers via books, television, etc. This is difficult to do when her original story is not entirely true.
The public wants to know they are getting information from an authentic thought leader.
And here’s the thing about leaders. They are role models and they are accountable.
These are three crucial things Hilaria Baldwin should address.
Is it possible she will survive the scandal without it? Sure, we have a tremendous propensity for forgiving celebrities.
Alec Baldwin never really apologized for acting like a jerk.
But here’s the thing. We like funny assholes.
Baldwin stayed authentic. Certainly, we saw a less becoming side of him. But ultimately he pretty much owned it.
So we accepted it.
Back to authenticity. We like it. We feel comfortable with it. We feel like we know who Alec Baldwin is even though we don’t really know him. We are pretty sure he’s showing us his true self. He won me over.
That’s okay in the world of actors.
However, Hilaria is not someone pretending for a living.
She is making her livelihood by positioning herself as an expert in her field. She is demonstrating examples of how to do things.
Honestly, I’m rooting for her.
Maybe it’s because in elementary school I made my mom change my name to ‘Delia’ for two months. I wasn’t protesting my heritage just the lack of personalized lunch bags with the name ‘Colleen’ on them.
So in a way, I too impersonated someone.
Until I remembered I am proud of who I am.
Even if the other girls ate out of brown bags declaring their names.
Hilaria, do you. The real you. I’ll be saving a seat at the redemption cafeteria for you.