Kanye West Tweeting Same Old Song?

At the 2015 VMAs, Kanye West was presented the Video Vanguard award from Taylor Swift. In his “Thank you” speech, he went on a tangent apologizing to Swift, talking about his love for Kim Kardashian, his career, admitting smoking weed before the show and stating he is running for President. West’s speech exceeded 30 minutes with no discernible direction.

Credit: Kevin Winter/MTV1415/Getty Images For MTV

Credit: Kevin Winter/MTV1415/Getty Images For MTV

Kanye West is an interesting character and his unfiltered personality always makes headlines. West breaks the rules and seems to handle his own image via social media and on-camera interviews.

West received major publicity after his speech and most of it was negative. If you were Kanye West’s public relations professional would you:

  • Tell Kanye to publicly apologize to fellow celebrities and fans.
  • Make an excuse for the long speech and claims made.
  • Treat it as a joke and laugh with everyone else.
  • Let Kanye decide for himself how he is going to handle the media.

If I were West’s PR professional, I would make him aware of his options and the repercussions. Ultimately, West would make his own decision and do what he wants. I would help him think through the options and offer my input on the best strategy.

West usually shares his thoughts and reactions to events on social media, especially on Twitter. Is this smart? Tom Gable at Gable PR talks about how researching and thinking before posting on social media will pay off in the long run. Do you think West is smart in what he posts on social media?

How would you handle the aftermath of Kanye West’s speech?

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8 Responses to Kanye West Tweeting Same Old Song?

  1. Breanna Johnson says:

    This is an interesting discussion. To answer the question about what Kanye should have done after his speech, I think it would be best for Kanye to comment on the backlash and explain himself. He has always portrayed himself as being a very unfiltered, honest and straightforward person who makes his own rules so apologizing would not be in his best interest. In my opinion, it would be ideal for him to go on a few radio talk shows or post a few tweets discussing the backlash. He should comment on the fact that he is such an unfiltered person and that this is his style and people can either take it or leave it. It wouldn’t be a good idea for him to make an excuse for his actions, but he should rather endorse himself and promote what he did instead of making it negative. This approach would fit his personality and the image he has already established for himself.

  2. Natalie Crandall says:

    Sometimes, certain celebrities have a large talent, such as singing and acting, but that is not necessarily what makes them popular. A lot of times, having a strong personality, whether liked or not, will generate more fans, more media and overall more sales. For Kanye West, his music and his personality speak for themselves. You may not love West’s music, but you certainly know what he said about the love of his life and his personal opinions about other artists.
    If I were West’s personal PR professional, I honestly would leave the response up to him. By stating his true beliefs and opinions, Kanye West has built a fan base around his honesty and his music. His speech may have been a little out of line, but is that really unlike Kanye? Personally, I would let Kanye deal with the media surrounding his speech on his own. He has already apologized to Taylor Swift, so apologizing for his long speech would just be redundant and laughing it off would be just joining the fan base.
    Obviously, as the article stated, I would explain Kanye’s options and the best ultimate outcome, but I would really leave the final decision up to him and his demanding personality, since that’s what made him popular in the first place.

  3. Courtney Bannon says:

    My answer to your question is that I would never work for Kanye West. From what I can see, West operates under the assumption that all press is good press. In West’s case, perhaps it is. West’s audience loves his antics. I, however, would not be able to handle his unpredictability. As PR professionals, I think we know that under most circumstances his approach is an open door to crisis. One day Kanye will push the boundary too far.

  4. Jordan Baxter says:

    Kanye West finds himself in many situations quite consistently. If I were working for West, there would be a few precautions I would take into account before fully jumping on board. I would have to notify West about some of the situations he’s been put in and what impact his actions have had on his audience. I would first explain to West that if he’d like to work together, he would have to trust me when it comes to PR-related situations.

    West should apologize to his fans and move on from the situation. As long as he apologizes for his actions and seems genuine and tries to move on from the situation, it will help his reputation entirely. West is already an extremely popular artist and with a little bit of PR he could be even more popular. By taking the apology approach it is the ultimate form of crisis management.

  5. Alla Nadezhkina says:

    Kanye West is a pop star with the image of the “bad guy” and I think that all his statements and behaviors – are a well-planned by a PR company that draws attention to his person and the products that it produces – a musical show. And possibly a whole group of PR professionals engaged in the creation of strategies for Kanye West’s actions.

  6. Alyssa Hillman says:

    Kanye is known for this behavior. It’s his persona and I honestly think he’s as well known as he is. This egotistical entitled personality is what we associate with Kayne, and I believe it brings people to read about him and look him up online. Which then leads to his music, which as a fan, I might be biased, is his true talent and is amazing.

    Was his speech a great idea? No.
    If I were his PR professional, would I have advised him to ramble for 30 minutes? No.

    But, it brought him publicity and it’s the same kind he typically gets and that his fellow celebrities and even his fans expect from him. If he agreed, I would probably suggest he apologize if he offended anyone. Besides that, I think most people are over it and have moved on to Bieber’s hair. Yikes.

  7. Matthew Covert says:

    Kanye West is unique. I am a fan of Kanye West but my relationship with the artist is complicated. I love his art, but I don’t think he and I could be close friends. I view him as a mad scientist or mad genius. If I am representative from the rest of Kanye West’s fan base then I don’t care about any of the ridiculous things he says on TV or any other medium. And sometimes I agree with the ‘crazy’ things he says.

    As far as addressing what his PR people should do, either apologize or ignore it. This random spontaneous speech excites Kanye’s core fan base. His core fan base would vote for Kanye because they are young and don’t care about elections or politics. This speech doesn’t matter to them and if it does they are excited about it.

    However not everyone is a Kanye fan. Kanye’s hypothetical PR team should try to do something nearly impossible which would be keep Kanye off the stage. The best thing moving forward is to prevent more random outbursts like this.

  8. Elissa Harrison says:

    First off I want to state that I am not a fan of Kanye West. I think he is an arrogant jerk that does not think before he talks. I would make it clear before the event that he really needs to shape up his act especially with his previous behavior regarding Taylor Swift. I understand apologizing to her publicly but the fact he feels it’s okay to talk about smoking weed and then next talk about running for President makes him look like a joke. I would want him to use his social media like he has done in the past to explain his actions and publicly apologize. Honestly, I would not ever work for this man. I would gladly take a pay cut than work for a man who has no regard for people’s feelings whatsoever.

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