Are they, aren’t they? Will they, won¹t they separate? Forget the TV soaps. This week has been all about the Cheryl and Liam.
Earlier in the week the Sun¹s showbiz guru Dan Wootton broke the story that the showbiz couple were about to split. According to his scoop, the dynamic duo were struggling to keep their relationship afloat. His breaking news caused an avalanche of Twitter and social media commentary as the veracity of the leak was debated.
It’s highly likely that the duo’s PR flak toiled through each day to try and correct the story. Most news junkies comprehend the huge influence the PR profession has on the frothier end of the news agenda. Breaking stories of this nature are rare. The PR command and control of the media which first saw the light of day in Hollywood in the heyday of the studio system,is now weaponized to ensure that the showbiz heavyweights enjoy positive coverage.
Old media lacks access to challenge the PR operators who regulate the collateral. The order of the day is to project the “oh so perfect” lifestyle narrative.
The paranoia of negative press is at an all-time high, whilst the energy is all about maintaining commercial value of their charges. God forbid there should be anything negative about a faultless celeb bubble. Media minders and legal wizards ensure there is zero awareness of the private life; unless the same publicist seizes the opportunity of peeling back the net curtains to offer sanitised access which might help sell a record or peak an audience view.
My cynical publicist soul noted that the Liam and Cheryl story took hold in Brits week. How fittingly newsworthy. On the night of the actual awards, it did not take long for Cheryl and Liam to hit the red carpet. Arm in arm they put on a show for the cameras and the red carpet jockeys. Their harmonious accord demonstrated to the world that they were very much one. Of course, this could have been part of the process to destabilize the Sun story. All celebrities want to control any less than positives news.
Perhaps, the blatant motivation was to dilute the narrative and disinfect the truth. I’m sure true fans would prefer to see Liam Payne and Cheryl Cole remain as one. They would probably be overjoyed to see the story sink and let togetherness rein, on the most glamorous night of the showbiz calendar. Of course, this fluff is not saying how much you love your fans. It is giving them something extra, primarily it’s about giving them something to believe in. For those outside looking in, it might suggest that the leak was a plant.
A false lead to enable this show of strength, a news event to generate a positive narrative about the super couple. Time will tell of course; events are usually found out, especially, if they are pseudo.
Perhaps the Cheryl and Liam story says more about the process and the activity that goes on under the waterline. There are few, straight lines in the art of celeb PR. Welcome to 2018, where you just can’t get your message out. There’s too much noise. The 24/7 PR machine has to operate around the clock to maintain a client’s commercial worth. It¹s a huge responsibility few get paid well for, in truth, it’s a lifestyle gig.
The vast interests of media, on and off-line, will delight in keeping this narrative going. It is pure clickbait. Columnists. Youtubers, Bloggers,tweeters, influencers will all have an opinion and will contribute to the noise. There¹s the rub ¬ the thing we call the noise. Of course, the “goldfish bowl” attention of the crowd will have moved on to something new in the coming week if there is no fresh twist on this story. Professionals may debate on whether Dan Wootton has been ruthlessly used. However, one thing isfor sure, everybody is on borrowed time in the prefabricated hell of showbiz nirvana. Inevitably, something more interesting and more sustainable will come along, to underline the futility and worthlessness of a celebrity past its sell-by date.