The Buzz by Mike Schaffer - PR, Social Media, Pop Culture and Sports

Buzz, PR, Pop Culture, Song of the Day, music

February 2, 2010

Vanilla Ice and Crisis PR

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Some days I listen to the radio, others I listen to my iPod.  I’m sure you do the same thing.

Was Crisis PR 101 sporting that haircut?

A few days ago, I enjoyed the mix as I got off the DC Metro and walked through the streets of Chinatown.

[Confession – I used to be a Bar Mitzvah DJ, so I’ve got a weird assortment of music.  At least that’s my semi-rational excuse for listening to whatever I want to jam to!]

One of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures popped on and I started to dance in the middle of the sidewalk in a major metropolitan city (also the capital of the US…I have no shame).

What was this awesome tune, you may ask?  “Ice, Ice, Baby” by Vanilla Ice!

Yes, the early-90s rap favorite is on my iPod – and I’m sure it’s on yours, too, so don’t hate.

I realized that Vanilla Ice, with his weird haircut and baggy/glittered pants, was teaching us all about crisis PR.  Work with me on this:

STOP – When…y’know…hits the fan, don’t react immediately.  Survey the scene.  Take a deep breath and decide what really needs to be done, as far as disseminating information to media and the public.  Don’t be kneejerk, but act swiftly and decisively.

COLLABORATE – Don’t go it alone!  Talk to the rest of your team, including people above and below you on the chain.  Get everyone on the same page.  Having more people in on the decision will give you more points of view, and more perspective.  And that will help you make smarter decisions when responding to the crisis at hand.

LISTEN – It’s critical to pay attention to the media and public when you are in a crisis.  Find out what information they need and what they want.  Do your best to deliver both, focusing on the most critical portions first.  Evaluate their response to how you handled the crisis.  If you think you need to change courses, Stop, Collaborate and Listen one more time.

Do you think Toyota’s recent crisis would have been better handled if they just listened to Vanilla Ice?

Special Bonus: Jim Carrey doing his Vanilla Ice impression:

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  • Renee Schapiro
    I always laugh when I hear this song. As soon as it begins, I remember the lawsuit against Vanilla Ice for stealing the bassline from Queen's "Under Pressure". Just sayin...
  • jeffespo
    My friend, this is a unique take as usual. Hilarious as it sounds it makes a lot of sense - great post. I am now jamming out.
  • mikeschaffer
    Yep, I do wonder about my mental status sometimes :)
  • Mike,

    This is off the charts phenomenal! Great advice with amazing execution. I was probably in junior high when Vanilla Ice hit the scene and it was one of the first CD's I ever owned. I can still bust out the lyrics to Ice Ice Baby at any moment, although it's usually at a local watering hole.

    Great post!
  • mikeschaffer
    Many thanks! I just sang the first half of the song to an intern to confirm to the young'n that that is actually how the song goes. (No joke - at an airport in Thailand, we were at Gate A1A...a crowning moment in "song-stuck-in-your-head" glory. BEACHFRONT AVENUE!)
  • Sheema Siddiqi
    I love this- who knew Vanilla Ice could warrant such PR advice? Also, I thought you should be aware that Vanilla Ice is trying to make a comeback- he recently performed on the UK show "XFactor" with two contestants known as Jedward:
  • mikeschaffer
    Can the world handle another Vanilla Ice comeback? After being on VH1's "The Surreal Life," I'd believe just about anything from him...
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