2 minute read

Kanye West, the connoisseur of disastrous PR 

As one of the 51.9 million following Donald Trump on Twitter, his April exchange with Kanye West left me baffled – and not just at the meaning of ‘We are both dragon energy’. 

Making further reference to the fact that Trump is his ‘boy’ in an interview with celebrity news site TMZ, Kanye reinstated that he ‘just loves Trump!’ 

This endorsement, as Trump says in his retweet, seems to be ‘very cool’. 

However, in the same interview, Kanye went on to question the reality of slavery, stating “When you hear about slavery for 400 years ... for 400 years? That sounds like a choiceyou were there for 400 years and it's all of y'all. It's like we're mentally imprisoned." 

What Kanye is trying to get at with his support of ‘outsider’ Donald Trump and his horribly misjudged comments above, is that he is all about freedom of thought and condemns those who choose not to think for themselves. 

I mean, that or he is drumming up some press attention before the imminent release of two new albums – it’s anyone’s guess. 

No stranger to PR stunts or to controversy, Kanye actually already boasts a history of interaction with former presidents. He was once branded a ‘jackass’ by Barack Obama following his famous interruption of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the VMA awards in 2009. 

But perhaps we are being too harsh and being a Trump supporter isn’t all that bad.  

Oh wait, no, it is.  

The ‘freedom of thought’ that Kanye praised led Trump to call the leader of North Korea ‘short and fat’, put together plans to build a big, stupid wall that nobody wants and, most recently, pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, much to the despair of leaders around the world including the EU and the foreign ministry of Russia, another signatory, which claimed to be "deeply disappointed". 

Although we know that Kanye is an artist, which means we thankfully need not be too concerned with his politics, is it possible that this latest debacle has gone a step too far in alienating people? Because what looks better on offensive comments about slavery than a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap? 

One of the biggest takeaways for PRs here – aside from not being a moron – is a lesson in the dangers of bad endorsement. 

We know how damaging the wrong spokespeople can be for a brand. So perhaps the three cardinal rules of selecting great spokespeople would be: 

  • Favouring credibility over popularity 
  • Not choosing someone who isn’t media trained or could be controversial  
  • Making sure they represent the values of your organisation or brand

Why not get in touch with us now to find out how we can help your brand? 


Author: Natalie Bishop




Image credit: https://photos.icons8.com/

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