Candor in Crisis


Although “Poker Face” helped Lady Gaga amass a huge following, it’s her candor in crisis that keeps that huge following loyal through highs and lows, both professional and personal. When bad news breaks, audiences value accessibility and authenticity, and Gaga delivered it with the confidence of a true PR pro.

A day after rumors circulated that her longtime engagement with partner, actor Taylor Kinney, had been broken off, Team Gaga resisted the temptation to plant juicy details in an exclusive in next week’s People magazine. Instead of a perfunctory statement issued by a publicist (too impersonal and inaccessible) or an over-wrought contrived explanation filled with made-up words like “conscious uncoupling,” Team Gaga choose the path of being real. It’s authentic enough that you may beleive the popstar wrote it herself. Alas, I’m too jaded to go that far.

In a short but revealing  Instagram post accompanied by a nostalgic photo of the couple in happier times, Team Gaga took their message straight to her fans. And it was raw with emotion. Most effectively, Team Gaga’s message was simple and specific, leaving nothing up for speculation or interpretation by the jaded paparazzi. This is how they did it.

After offering this tender insight, “Taylor and I have always believed we are soul mates,” the message explained their hopes for “the simple love we have always shared” was strained by conflicting ambition, work schedules and physical distance.

Gaga then asked her audience straight up to “please root us on.”

The short statement takes for granted that we all want true love to last, even when conflicts create daunting barriers. Gaga’s appeal for empathy reminds me of the “Celebrities Are Just Like Us” spreads in gossip magazines, featuring candid photography of celebrities buying coffee, soothing cranky babies and walking out of the gym in sweatpants and a ponytail. In Gaga’s words, “We’re just like everybody else, and we really love each other.”

Well done. Very well done, Team Gaga.