This paper is based on analysis of a case study. The case discusses Thierry Fremaux, who has damaged his brand reputation. The paper evaluates the brand image repairing strategies he is already using, and then suggests new strategies that Fremaux should adopt to repair his reputation.
1. Existing Image Repair Strategies used by Thierry Fremaux
Thierry Fremaux has utilized several strategies for repairing his image, including denial and bolstering. Using denial, he blamed female directors for their absence in the competition. Moreover, he has used statements to limit the offensiveness of the under-representation of women through bolstering and transcendence. Bolstering his festival and self-reputation, he gave the perception that he believed in equality and fair selection that differentiates the Cannes Festival from other renowned events. Furthermore, he added that he did not want to offend women by giving them an edge because of a particular gender Advertising Brand image repairing strategies.
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2. Building PR Campaign
The primary purpose of building a PR campaign for Thierry Fremaux is to offset the ongoing controversies and negative publicity. The channel utilized to build PR campaign can include press release through which Fremaux can communicate his message directly to the audience. However, for the internal audience/stakeholders of the event, including female directors of the industry, the effective PR media can be editorial coverage in the film magazine and newspaper section. Editorial coverage is significant because it comprises an individually written article on the ongoing debate, which implies the credibility to its reader more than that of the personal press release (Hoyle, 2002). Additionally, the in-house PR team can assist Fremaux in coordinating and scheduling for a press release and connecting to newspaper editors. The following section will highlight the proposed strategies for the PR campaigns to improve Fremaux’s image on the ongoing issue.
2.1 Proposed Image Repair Strategies
According to research, mortification and corrective action are perceived as more pertinent approaches than denial, provocation, minimization, and bolstering for image repairing (Benoit, 1997; Benoit & Drew, 2009). However, Fremaux utilized the least effective strategies due to which his image did not change in front of the critics. Hence, mechanisms including apologies, concessions, and corrective actions can help Fremaux build his image.
An apology comprising of content with positive remarks about the current issue can be considered as a sincere act, and the public tends to forgo the previous image built in this regard (Sandlin & Gracyalny, 2018). For instance, Fremaux can issue a statement in which he can appreciate the work of female directors and promote their role in the industry. He can quote exceptional work from the past and at the same time can acknowledge the presence of a low number of films by women in the industry.
In addition to being apologetic in his statements, Fremaux can ensure the critics and audience that he can play his role in ensuring transparency in the selection process. Adding positive comments are crucial for fair and sincere perception, because a defensive behaviour coupled with reducing offensiveness can be viewed as a devious attitude (Kyrychok, 2017). In this way, he can mortify by being apologetic and offer a concession for the alleged behaviour.
2.1.3 Corrective Actions
An individual’s commitment towards correcting the issue is the substantial dimension of image restoration (Sandlin & Gracyalny, 2018). Hence, Fremaux can debate his plan to formulate a review team for an extensive assessment of the selected nominees of the competition by which the selection process can behold transparent and fair by the critics and targeted groups (female directors of the film industry). Correspondingly, this is because multiple sources advocating a similar discourse can be persuasive, and the confluence of additional resources can restore damaged image rather than the defence from an alleged individual (Kyrychok, 2017).
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