Public relations in the digital, instant media age is a much different animal. Privacy is now more of a concept than a reality. Everyone can shoot video with their phone, and no place is safe or sacred. This is a lesson people continue to learn the hard way, whether it’s a comic making racist remarks during a set, a sports team owner making them to his mistress, or even something as generally innocuous as drunken brag about something positively life-changing happening in your life.
In the constant media world, perception is everything, and how people develop those perceptions has changed indelibly. Ronn Torossian explains.
For all intents and purposes, Dr. Dre has put his bad boy days with NWA behind him. For more than a decade now he has been an entirely respected and respectable businessman, with no hint of the gangsta in his manner or rapport. Sure, he still dresses the part on occasion, and he was known to clown around with Eminem on a track or two, but business is serious business, and Dre understands that very well.
But, in a moment of celebratory excess, Dre made a mistake, one any of us could make if we are not savvy of the way things have changed in today’s media environment. Dre’s now “worst kept secret” deal with Apple buying Beats for around $3 billion had yet to be confirmed by either principle publicly. But, a video, reportedly shot by Dre’s friend and model-turned-actor Tyrese Gibson, turned up on Dre’s Facebook page. In the video, Dre and Gibson excitedly announce the pending deal along with some colorful language of the sort you might expect from the first billionaire to come straight outta Compton.
But, here’s the thing, Apple is not that kind of company. Beats may be all about the jam and the party lifestyle, but Apple is as buttoned up as they come. And they are never more secretive and quiet than when discussing business deals. They have a history of being extremely tightlipped and controlling when it comes to their dealings, releases, and any major announcements. Will there be fallout from this? Too soon to tell, but it’s a cinch that Apple isn’t happy, and that the public can expect much less of this sort of thing going forward.