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Justin Bieber and the Art of Personal PR

Good public relations experts are able to adjust to breaking bad news, provide damage control on all media fronts, advise their clients, and take control of the narrative so that it works in their favor.

Great public relations experts are able to see disasters before they even happen and take the necessary steps to make sure bad behaviors and press never materialize.

And so, as PR industry junkies, we wonder why almost all young pop stars seem to alienate their fans, the press and the public at large when they grow up—which is something not even millions of dollars can prevent. Yes, we’re talking about Justin Bieber, 19, who has both the access and resources to consult with the best and brightest experts in the industry.

We’re guessing those best and brightest PR gurus were the ones who advised Justin Bieber to apologize for being caught smoking weed, despite the fact that no one believed his sentiment was sincere. That was a bad PR decision; the public isn’t stupid. Honesty is the best public relations policy there is, and it’s best to say nothing if you can’t be honest with the public. Most of us would have been surprised to learn he didn’t smoke weed.

Bieber may have broken the dubious streak with his latest PR crisis, which involves an Instagram note lambasting the press for their reckless reporting of his personal life. This time, it appears, the Biebs didn’t consult the services of the expensive PR experts. Take this quote, for example:

“Everyone in my team has been telling me, ‘keep the press happy’ but I’m tired of all the countless lies in the press right now”

There is nothing “savvy” about this statement–yet we think it’s PR genius. Instead of releasing some slick and polished statement about his disappointment with the portrayal of his personal life, Justin Bieber spoke from the heart, which means emotions—including anger, frustration and contempt—were involved.

And it was sincere. We don’t know about you guys, but we love that.

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