PR Lessons From That Infamous Elevator Video: Keep Your Cool. You’re Always Being Watched.

May 19, 2014  |  

If you were like me when the footage showing Solange attacking Jay-Z in an elevator was released by TMZ, you were probably thinking, “What the hell happened?” While many people have theorized and expressed on the details of the night, I actually thought there were some great personal branding gems that came out of the incident.

Here are three tips on personal branding I learned from Solange, Jay-Z, and Beyonce.

1. Pick your battles wisely. This gem came from Beyonce. It’s never cool to flip out in public. Though I don’t know the details of what really happened, whatever it is, Beyonce chose not to react while she was “out of the house.” This serves as a reminder to not only keep your composure in public, but to also decide which battles you want to fight. If you really believe you need to intervene in a situation, then do so, but be ready to justify your actions. Maybe it just wasn’t worth it to Bey. That’s okay. Though not everyone can be so composed, there is much to be said for the person who doesn’t act up in public. Bey was sure to remember this. What will be the consequences of your reaction ? Think it through and then make your decisions.

2. Don’t act a fool in public. I think this one is a given. Unless being rowdy is part of your brand or you’re defending yourself against attack, it’s always best to just wait until you’re in private to settle a dispute. Solange probably didn’t think there were cameras in the elevator, but guess what? Cameras are everywhere. Many times we don’t stop to think about who (or what) is watching us. Though it may have be hard to control your emotions all the time, it’s never acceptable to act out like that, especially in a public place. It just gives people reason to throw dirt to your name. Now, because both camps will probably never come out with a release that actually explains the incident, there’s room for people to draw conclusions about the incident and the participants. All of the Instagram antics aren’t  making the speculations any better, either. Even the joint statement their reps released calling the incident a “private matter,” assuring us that the two “have apologized to each other [and]  have moved forward as a united family” is still not going to resolve the questions people still have.

3. Keep consistent with your image. Who really knows how Jay wanted to react when his sister-in-law started trying to beat him up?  One thing we do know is that Hova was NOT about to be portrayed as a woman beater by hitting her back. If he even put his hands on Solange, many of his fans and supporters would have probably turned their back on him. Jay-Z already created the image as a man against violence against woman with his reaction to the Chris Brown/Rihanna scandal. Any other behavior would’ve been disastrous for him. Thankfully, it looks like he lives his image, refraining from any sort of non-verbal response (since we don’t have audio) to what was going on. Though we wouldn’t expect anything less since his wife speaks out on various feminist issues. If there are any positives out of this whole situation, this would be one.

Rana Campbell is a freelance branding and content strategist who specializes in lifestyle. Follow her on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn.

And if you’d like to learn more about Jay Z and his brand, check out Moguldom Studios documentary “A Genius Leaves The Hood.” Buy it or rent it here!

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