By now you have heard the news about singer Beyoncé being accused of lip-synching “The Star Spangled Banner” at President Barack Obama’s second Inauguration. Unfortunately, in this post we won’t be able to help you determine whether the rumors are false or true; however, we can take a look at the role of the company spokesperson.

While Beyoncé is probably slightly annoyed that the controversy is taking place right before her Super Bowl performance and the release of her fifth studio album sometime in early 2013; her people (publicists, spokesperson and entire PR team) are more than likely livid with the Marine Corps Band spokesperson.

Speculation rose about Beyoncé lip-synching the song after she removed her ear piece during the performance. Many also used pictures the singer had posted to Instagram on January 20, as evidence that the song had been recorded. Confirmation came from the Marine Corps Band spokesperson around noon on January 22, when she told The Washingtonian;

“We don’t know why Beyoncé decided to use prerecorded music,” a spokesperson for the Marine Corps Band told us this morning. “All music [for inaugural ceremonies] is prerecorded as a matter of course, and that’s something we’ve done for years and years. The Marine Band did perform live throughout the ceremony but we received last-minute word that Beyoncé wanted to use the recording.” The spokesperson also added that everyone knows Beyoncé is a gifted singer, and her decision has no bearing on her musical ability.

Blogs and every news reporting agency ran with the quote and soon everyone in the world believed that the singer had indeed lip synched during the inauguration. It was not until later that afternoon around 3 p.m. that someone came to the defense of Beyoncé. Colonel Michael J. Colburn, band director of the Marine Corps Band reported again to The Washingtonian;

he can’t confirm whether Beyoncé actually was singing. However, the band and the singer had decided Sunday night to use a prerecorded music track, since they were unable to coordinate a time for a full rehearsal. “She wasn’t comfortable performing without a rehearsal, and I wasn’t comfortable that either,” he said. “We always knew that was a possibility.

In Public Relations, a spokesperson must speak with authority

It would be unfair to place blame on the spokesperson in this situation (after all, she wasn’t the one singing), but the comments of the spokesperson did lead to the most current Beyoncé-gate. When the director of the band had to reach out to the media to correct the statement coming from the band it became clear that there was a lack of communication between the director and the spokesperson.

Often landing a big story takes a lot of hard work, to have to change any information already reported is even harder and discredits your organization.

JASE tips for communicating with the media:
  • Prepare for questions– Know whats happening in the world and with your organization so you can prepare for questions. Have a conversation with key decision-makers in your organization so the message is clear and delivered appropriately.
  • Only discuss information that you have knowledge about– It’s perfectly fine to let a reporter know that you can’t answer a question because you don’t have information. Feel free to let them know you will send them additional information later.
  • Offer your experts for comments – If media questions will focus on a specific topic, try to provide an expert rather than a spokesperson. An expert discussing a topic is always better than the spokesperson.
  • Don’t get personal – It’s easy to become passionate about your organization, but don’t let the passion drive you to say something from your personal opinion rather than the facts.

If these public relations tips helped and you know your organization could benefit from a dynamic public relations team contact JASE Group. Through a combination of traditional techniques paired with unique strategies that our creative team has perfected, JASE Group can help the public understand you, your vision, and your beliefs.
Beyonce at Inaugurationimage credit: by globalpost

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