In the wake of Cheryl Cole’s turbulent relationship with the media since her sacking from the American X Factor, here are some tips, inspired by Andy Green, that might help her through any other media difficulties that may come her way in future.
Cheryl’s recent sacking is an opportunity to re-evaluate her identity and learn valuable lessons in creativity. We all have to learn to deal with rejection and the word ‘No’.
1. Focus on who you are and why you’ve been successful.
A strong identity and deep roots in what made you successful in the first place will help you weather the worst storm. Was the American ‘X Factor’ actually the right strategic move for you? What is your real mission in life? Is your brand in accordance with this? Remember, being a sleb is not the most important thing in life.
2. Do you have a relevant narrative?
When you move on to a new challenge is your ‘story’ appropriate for the new context you are moving in to? Consider this: is an American TV focus group going to be moved or confused by “British television celebrity/Geordie singer/overcame the odds/deprived back story”? Always bet on the latter.
3. Make the most of your successes to date
Your strategy here is to ensure that your previous successes that made you are amplified as much as possible. What new things are you planning to do? What past, present and future exciting projects can you plant as memorable seeds in people’s minds?
4. Don’t piss off your enemies. Forgive. Don’t bear grudges.
You evidently landed the role in the American ‘X Factor’ thanks to your links with Simon Cowell. Encourage these links and you may open up new avenues.
5. Do you need to focus on new skills? What can you learn?
Take time to come back. Use that time to learn new skills. Don’t mention them until you’re ready. Project confidence. People with authenticity will always surprise.
6. Go back to basics – your core skill, your ‘essence’.
Don’t confuse people. Remind them why they love you. Learn the power of saying ‘No!’ to things that aren’t you. Make sure you understand what your Brand Essence is. Don’t let rejection define you. Get back to basics, and you will find new ways to move forward.
A fundamental characteristic of creative people is the ability to bounce back after a major knock. It may be a cliché, but if you get knocked down the best way to cope is to get straight back up again.
8. Make sure you trust your team.
If you can trust the people around you and you are willing to let them be honest, they can inject new insight even if it is sometimes not what you want to hear.
9. Say very little until you have something to say.
Filling the social media with endless weak messages will dilute your brand, as will staggering in and out of the tabloids. A little mystery goes a long way. When you have the platform, then it is time to seed the social world with strong positive stories.