What brands can learn from the King Troll, Milo Yiannopoulus

Milo Yiannopoulus aka the most fabulous supervillain on the internet. Who has made a name for himself as a Gay British Conservative who travels around the United States speaking at college campuses and pisses liberals off recently lost a book deal and invitation to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference because of his remarks concerning pedophilia. I’m not here to defend those remarks. But Milo is a very unique brand, and there’s some things we can learn from this about branding and crisis management.

  1. Humility: I’m all for being unapologetic in things that you believe. But Milo has put himself into a position that prevents him from being publicly apologetic for anything. Leaders in any industry, whether it’s business, journalism, Military, or Sports must be able to acknowledge when they where wrong, apologize when necessary and move on. That acknowledgement makes you human, and people can relate to you. If you can’t acknowledge when you’re wrong. It will catch up to you, and when that happens, you may not recover.
  2. Explain Once: When you’re in the public spotlight, (those of us who are on Social Media are), it’s really easy to sometimes say something that isn’t very received by the world or our audience. When this happens, make an appropriate statement and let it go. Milo has been defending himself and trying to explain what he meant when he said these things. But the story and the conversation around it is moving too fast for “The most fabulous supervillain on the internet” seems as he digs himself deeper every time he publishes a new response.
  3. Give them something new to talk about: I got a call once from a Realtor who made a comment on Facebook that he was worried about it catching fire and making people mad. Sure, you can delete it….but those who have seen in, can’t unsee it. There’s no way of knowing if a screenshot was taken of it. So the best thing you can do is to simply change the subject, and start living out loud…..basically, bury the post. In 2017, people have very short attention spans and they will find something else to get upset about. Now, Milo can hardly delete this video….so the best thing for him to do would be to put on something outlandish and go have a good time, post some news commentary not related to this, say or do something inspirational.

Playing it safe is safe, but not lucrative: It’s an age old social and business saying that you don’t talk about Religion, Sex, Money, or Politics in public life. Doing so will get you a lot of attention and sometimes that can be a good thing and you can make it into a very lucrative business. But you have got to have a plan when something goes wrong. Milo talked about all of these things, and 99% of the time he navigates these conversations masterfully. I predict that he will take some hits on this, but I believe that the most fabulous supervillain on the internet is a long way from going away.

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