OPINION: Babes's situation won't result in permanent damage to her brand

By Drum Digital
22 June 2017

Babes will be just fine

Following her Sama meltdown, which has been the subject of many social media memes and jokes and considered by some as outrageous, there’s been talk about whether Babes Wodumo has a management team or not.

Celebrities get into public relations (PR) trouble a lot. This is truer today with access to social media and the instantaneous nature of it: one post and you could go viral. This means management teams of any celebrity need to understand crisis communication.

Crisis communication and reputation management are special skills of public relations focused on dealing with protecting a brand challenges. Any good brand & PR manager will know this is an area that needs to be considered before and during a crisis and not just after. In the case of Babes vs the Samas, this would have come in handy straight after the video came out. The top fundamentals around managing a PR crisis is to acknowledge the mistake, address it and (in her case have healthy engagement around why she felt robbed of a Sama) and keep it moving.

But let’s be honest, this particular PR challenge is unlikely to result in permanent damage to her brand.


It’s understandable her adoring fans are upset she might not be attending the BET Awards (this Sunday). It's true her management could have done better at getting her a visa by being on top of things – this tells us there could potentially be major operational issues there and this is definitely an area she’ll have to look at in the future. This must be addressed to manage the expectations of her fans but also to ensure clumsy things like this don’t happen in the future because a consistency of bad news about any brand isn’t good for business.

By Thabiso Makhubela

About Thabiso Makhubela

He runs The Drawing Board Brand Consult, a new-age brand consultancy in Johannesburg that develops strategy and communication solutions to help brands express their ideas and messages vigorously. Thabiso is also chairperson of The Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa’s young PR and communications professionals chapter, JumpStart.

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