Meet Emily Reynolds Bergh, Brains of Celebrity Crisis Communications – Hollywood Life


Emily Reynolds Bergh
Image Credit: Emily Reynolds Bergh

“Celebrity is a construct.” You’ve in all probability heard this phrase earlier than, however what does it actually imply? Surely, the well-known faces seen on film and TV screens, in athletic competitions, and on stage are simply common individuals dwelling extraordinary lives … proper?

Yes and no. Celebrities ascend to a stage above the standing of mere individuals to change into manufacturers: rigorously curated personas designed to attraction to the broadest attainable viewers. They are backed by groups {of professional} communicators, stylists, and image-makers who craft their aesthetic look and their digital presence and determine which publications they may converse to and which exhibits they may go on. And, in fact, when crises come up, celebrities are “handled” by their workforce. Never underestimate the affect of PR professionals on celebrities.

Emily Reynolds Bergh, founding father of R Public Relations, was sort sufficient to take a seat down with us to debate all issues movie star PR — notably disaster communications. Emily has labored with many celebrities beneath hearth, together with NBA gamers, resort chain house owners, and others amid high-profile crises.

Emily Reynolds Bergh
Emily Reynolds Bergh

Emily and her workforce are adept at navigating advanced disaster communications, from managing the fragile steadiness between empathy and apology to the lightning-fast media response time required to skillfully handle brewing conditions. “Celebrity crises often involve personal issue that require a more personalized approach than corporate crises,” Emily shares. “That’s why celebrity crisis communications is, in my opinion, the most challenging facet of PR to master.”

The technique that Emily applies to movie star disaster communications is twofold: First, each step of the method is individualized to the movie star coming beneath scrutiny; and second, communications are dispatched promptly — timeliness actually is of the essence on this space of PR. To obtain distinctive outcomes for every of her purchasers, she steadfastly follows 5 tips.

  • Personalization and Sensitivity: Because movie star crises are extremely private in nature, they warrant a extra delicate, nuanced strategy than company crises or on a regular basis life-style PR. Understanding the distinctive nature of the movie star’s model and picture is pivotal, so thorough analysis and social listening are integral. The data gleaned from this step ought to be mixed with the marketing campaign’s general purpose to realize maximal outcomes.
  • Close Collaboration with the Celebrity: Unlike company or life-style public relations, the place the main target is on the enterprise and its outcomes, movie star communications concentrate on a person’s private model. Firms like R Public Relations work with varied company stakeholders, however in terms of celebrities, one-on-one contact and collaboration are important. Part of Emily’s job is attaining buy-in from the celebrities who rent her to make sure that all their model illustration and messaging aren’t solely cohesive and on level, however really feel real to the person to their voice and values. So understanding the movie star’s background, preferences, and communication model is significant to the method of efficient disaster administration.
  • Timeliness: The pace of response usually must be a lot quicker in movie star crisis communications than in different types of PR as a result of right now’s fast dissemination of knowledge on social media and the 24/7 information cycle. Quick decision-making and motion plans are crucial to controlling the narrative and paramount to sustaining the movie star’s fame.


  • Full-Circle and 24-Hour Touch Points: Managing social media and digital press protection of clickbait-y movie star crises requires a particular, refined contact. This entails monitoring, responding to, and, when obligatory, participating straight with followers to mitigate destructive commentary and reestablish professionalism and tact. Maintaining a detailed relationship with the movie star all through the disaster cycle shall be useful when the PR workforce wants to answer one thing within the second.
  • Uniqueness and Creativity: A selected disaster communications technique ought to really feel distinctive to the movie star at hand and aligned with how the general public views them whether it is to resonate with the viewers being addressed and produce the supposed outcomes. The PR workforce’s function right here is to creatively form the marketing campaign’s intention to the person’s model in such a approach that it each protects their title and goals to take care of their business standing. Truthfulness and authenticity weigh closely right here the general public is fast to smell out a sport plan that feels fabricated or disingenuous.

Although these steps stay the identical from disaster to disaster, Emily emphasizes that the method will fluctuate between celebrities. Approval procedures will differ relying on the scenario, the movie star’s enter, and the workforce working with them. While some celebrities could choose to be extra hands-on, others could delegate a lot of the decision-making to their communications workforce.

Regardless, the pace of motion stays essential, so Emily ensures that approvals will be streamlined to permit for fast responses at any time of the day.

With dozens of favorable movie star disaster campaigns beneath her belt, Emily proffers that the important thing to applicable movie star disaster communications is knowing the singular nature of the scenario and the person concerned, then tailoring the response accordingly.

“Just because the person is a celebrity doesn’t mean they are not a fallible, vulnerable person,” Emily says. “This is a real situation they are dealing with, often fueled by emotion. Take the proper steps, channel empathy, and drive through the process. A sense of urgency and understanding almost always leads to success.”

In the digital age, disaster communications have change into trickier to handle. Celebrities usually have Instagram accounts, TikTookay accounts, YouTube channels, newsletters, web sites, and extra, and attending to destructive messages in all these locations generally is a doozy on high of conventional and digital media retailers.

In some circumstances, Emily and her workforce have had direct entry to the movie star’s social media accounts, however that’s just for essentially the most drastic conditions. Usually, they’ll work with the social media professionals behind the accounts to recommend correct messaging and response techniques. The purpose is commonly to restrict content material or supply a particular callout publish. Either approach, owned channels like

social media are important to managing a star’s fame. They ought to be leveraged (albeit with restraint) throughout instances of disaster, even when the movie star isn’t sometimes lively on-line.

Although Emily has discovered a profitable area of interest in dealing with movie star disaster communications, her agency’s work just isn’t restricted to this subject. She represents purchasers in a various array of sectors, together with meals and beverage, hospitality, tourism, leisure, retail, wellness, finance and actual property, and nonprofits. She and her workforce present proactive pitching, occasion administration, model promotion, social media content material creation, and rather more for a rotating record of almost 30 purchasers every day. Celebrity disaster communications is only one component of her agency’s suite of providers, however Emily says she applies her wider ability set to her disaster campaigns once they do come alongside.

As extra digital channels pop onto the scene and extra individuals — from social media influencers to activists to budding artists — discover themselves within the limelight, movie star disaster communications will certainly change into extra related than ever. So R Public Relations will preserve doing what it at all times does to remain on the forefront: rising, studying, evolving, and making use of a really personalised strategy to the very specialised subject of disaster communications.


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