Oftentimes when we read books of some people and look at the quality of their achievements, their ‘perfect’ lives make our own ‘imperfection’ very obvious and make us wonder if we are creatures of same God.
That is the impression you get when you read Leke Alder’s books, meet him, or read his tweets. If you have the slightest opportunity of going to his office the ‘perfection’ of the settings and the intelligence of the man will make you wonder what you have been doing with your time even if you get to read three books every month.
You wonder if they make the kind of mistakes the imperfect people like us make.
That is one of the reasons the elementary PR mistakes by Alder Consulting on the Bobrisky saga was shocking but instructive.
For those that did not know, let me do a little recap. A member of staff of Alder Consulting was invited to speak at a conference in Abuja alongside personal assistant to President Buhari, Bashir Ahmad and the new social media sensation, Bobrisky. As many of you know, Bobrisky is a cross-dresser, we cannot say what his sexual orientation is, many are convinced he is gay; others dismiss his antics as mere publicity stunts. It is clear that most of us who see ourselves as ‘perfect’ straight, prim and proper would rather die than associate with someone like Bobrisky.
The personal assistant to the president pulled out of the conference with little or no drama so also is the staff of Alder Consulting but with ‘plenty’ drama.
First, Alder Consulting issued a press statement on its company letterhead giving long reasons its staff wouldn’t be ‘blessing’ the conference with her presence because Bobrisky is on it.
As a PR and marketing person, that was an elementary mistake from an industry ‘giant’.
The staff of Alder Consulting would have pulled out without the accompany drama. Reached out to the organisers, tell them your genuine reason for pulling out or give the standard official response of ‘unforeseen circumstances’ for the ‘unavoidable absence’.
Why the statement and the request for the organiser to issue a statement on its social media page that Alder’s staff will not be attending the event?
The statement paints Alder Consulting in bigotry light, something that is clearly not part of their ethos.
Mr. Alder, the CEO of Alder Consulting tweets religious insights on Sunday. His deep knowledge of the bible will make many pastors go back to bible school. And as many people know the two rules Jesus bequeathed his disciples were ‘Love your neighbour as yourself and love God’. A kind of love that is not judgemental.
With the statement by Bobrisky, Alder Consulting led by Mr. Alder has violated the law of love and come across as judgemental.
Let’s assume Bobrisky has some issues, take to heart the Alder’s statement and commit suicide leaving behind a note saying Alder Consulting made him commit suicide; how will the company play up it social responsibility side in the future?
The most painful part of the mistake is, now, if you search for Alder Consulting on Google, Bobrisky pops up. The same brand/person your ethos forbids you from associating with is now popping up in your Google search. How cool is that?
Some of us need not kill ourselves when we make mistakes, if the seemly ‘perfect’ people are making mistakes that are so elementary you wouldn’t dare make; it goes to show you are not alone in your ‘mortality’, we are all human after all.
Samuel Olatunji is a public relations consultant with BBB Media. He is also the publisher of www.broadwayafrica.com. He tweets @samuelolatunji