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I-Spy# 5: Gibson vs. Grigorieva

October 15, 2010


Crisis: Angry, threatening voice messages left by actor Mel Gibson for now ex-wife Oksana Grigorieva leaked into the media and are destroying Gibson’s public image.

 PrincipleTell the truth  

            It’s been several months now since Mel Gibson’s angry voicemails to ex-girlfriend, Oxana Grigorievas, hit TMZ. 

Here is one of the recordings of Mel’s angry rants.  (WARNING: HIGHLY EXPLICIT/OFFENSIVE CONTENT)

            Since the surfacing of Mel’s feisty voicemails, speculations about Gibson and Oksana’s tattered relationship have populated newsreels, tabloids and blogs.  With Mel’s career on the line and Oksana’s respectability at stake, the two stars have a significant PR crisis on their hands.   Although they are both vying to salvage or improve their relationships with fans and stakeholders, Gibson and Grigorieva approached their respective PR crises in very different ways.

            As soon as the media picked up the story, Mel immediately froze all career moves and basically went into hiding.  He made very few comments regarding the situation and stayed as far away as possible from the paparazzi.  He did, however, gave full cooperation with authorities in their investigation of his alleged domestic abuse case.

             The problem with Mel’s PR strategy is that he is not making an effort to get ahead of the story by telling the truth.  By not providing any statements or commentary, Mel is leaving plenty of room for speculation in the media.  He needs to go ahead and tell the truth so that he can have some control over the information that is being picked up and shared in the media.

              Oksana, on the other hand, is talking TOO much.  By appearing on every possible talk show, radio show and interview, Grigorieva is changing her image from a victim to an attention addict.  In addition, she keeps hiring and firing lawyers and has started blaming all of her PR missteps on a former bodyguard.  In other words, she is taking every possible opportunity to divert blame and negative attention to others.   Oksana needs to settle down and get a handle on the message that she wants to share with her public. 

            Although they both have very different messages they are trying to get across to their publics, the former love birds would both greatly benefit by just calming down and telling the truth!

Question for the Class:  Is there ever a time where the crisis is so extreme that a person or company should really go into hiding and avoid any kind of media contact? Or is telling the truth always the best strategy?   

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