The X Factor

Stacey Solomon – the classiest bag lady we’ve ever seen…

Posted January 14th, 2010 by talkpr

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What are we talking about 14/10/09: Rewriting His-story

Chris Hides

Ok, its Chris Hides here and i’m going to be posting once a week from now on, covering whatever we happen to be talking about…

Right now its all about Stephen Gateley. Has anyone else noticed how the media – particularly the tabloid press – are desperate for this to be a booze fuelled drug binge which ended with Gateley’s husband going to bed with another man? Comparisons have even been made by some papers between boyband singer and all round nice bloke of pop Stephen Gateley with ACDC’s Bon Scott and Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones, both legendary drinkers and drug takers. Unfortunately the nature of his death, pulmonary odoema which is when the lungs fill with fluid, is all the license the media needs to speculate that it was ‘death by vomit drowning’ and link Gateley’s early death with some of the biggest hellraisers in music history and so position this whole episode as another tale of death by celebrity excess.

Stephen Gately 2

Once the media have set the story in motion it isn’t long before the forums and social media extend the reach of the story as the speculation is passed as fact from one group to another.

It raises an interesting question for me about reputation management around the death of a celebrity (or a brand) – you may argue that Stephen Gateley couldn’t care less but it does become a part of his story and brand and i think all of us want to be remembered in a certain way. Left unchecked, in death the media can undo a lifetime of  good work and engineer a history that is completely misrepresentative.  Be interesting to see how this one pans out over the next week or so particularly the role that major figures like Louis Walsh and Ronan Keating play in setting things straight…

Posted October 14th, 2009 by talkpr

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