That Oge Okoye messed up real bad is not news anymore. I mean, how do you (a celebrity in your own right) lift RECENT pictures from the Instagram account of another celebrity and pass them off as yours? I mean who does that? How dumb can one be to do something that stupid?
I have many theories as to how and why it happened, but that’s not why we are here. As a communications guy who does PR and ORM strategy, how would I react if Oge Okoye was my client? What would I ask her to do? Truth is, if I had all the facts, I’d know exactly what to do, but assuming there isn’t a background story, and Oge Okoye just saw the pictures and reposted (because she is mad), these are the things I’ll advice.
Own the fuck up
One thing I love about Nigerians is our readiness to forgive people who apologize for their mistakes. We live in a country where people would rather make excuses, blame someone else, or just shut up, instead of saying they are sorry. The readiness to apologize is therefore seen as a virtue. One could commit a crime, confess and apologize, and people will say “shey him don beg nau, make una die the matter”.
So, I’ll ask Oge Okoye to own the fuck up. Admit she saw the pictures, fell in love with them, and in a moment of weakness, stole and reposted. She should apologize, agree she deserves all the vitriol she’s getting and promise never to do it anymore. While it wouldn’t wash away her sins, most of the negative comments will turn to positive ones commending her for being humble enough to apologize.
Demerits: People will now KNOW she indeed stole pictures and it will always come up. But then, there would always be someone defending her with the infamous, “he who is without sin” line.
I was hacked
This is the typical thing a Nigerian will do. Deny it. Blame the enemies for trying to bring her down and posting that picture. Do a long post asking how she can be foolish enough to post pictures from the IG account of another celebrity with even less followers than her. Deny deny deny! Promise to better protect her account so nonsense like that won’t repeat itself.
Merits: While some people will know she is lying, others will believe her. The rest of us will either be indifferent or unsure. Refusing to admit what she did will also ensure no one can use it against her without doubts.
Demerits: She would have toed the lines of the typical Nigerian – refuse to admit your mistakes and seek forgiveness. There will also always be a question mark on her head – did she do it? Did she not? And we know how question marks can be.
Fire her Social Media Manager
Whether she is managing the account herself or not, I will ask Oge Okoye to ‘invent’ and publicly fire (or at least sanction or redeploy) her Social Media Manager.
Truth is, for the sake of plausible deniability, many celebrities do not manage their accounts themselves. That is why many have the disclaimer on their bio (Account managed by media team, tweets/posts by me are signed blabla). Oge Okoye can leverage on this and say her social media manager, who she has trusted to manage her account because of her busy schedule was the one who made the blunder. She would then relieve the manager of his/her duties, or (to seem like an even sweeter person) send the manager for ORM training in agencies like Anakle or Thisruption Communications.
Merits: This would take the pressure off her a bit. The blame will shift to the manager who wanted to disgrace his/her principal.
Demerits: People like to believe that they are interacting with the celebrities themselves on Social Media. If she says someone has been managing her account, it would make her posts impersonal.
Blame her dog dealer
Simple. Blame the person who was supposed to buy the dogs for her. Say the person sent her the pictures as those of the dogs in transit and she believed him/her. Admit she hastily posted it because she was excited about finally having Rob and Rosy, agree she was wrong and apologise.
Merits: She has shifted the blame on someone else, and still apologized. This is also the most reasonable lie to tell
Demerits: Are there any? None, except the fact that some people will still not believe her. And that is perfectly okay.
Another typical celeb behavior – just ignore all the trolling, insults, abuses and hurtful comments and pray everything dies down. And the truth is, it will die down. The government will do something, or someone else will trend, and our attention will be diverted to fresher news.
Merit: Refusal to admit or deny may put a question mark on her head, but if people do not know why she did what she did, it will remain a question, not fact.
Demerit: It will always come back to haunt her. She could post a picture of her beautiful daughter next year and people will ask her if she stole the baby pic too. Yes Nigerians are savage like that.
Finally, my recommendation is number one (because I love honesty) and number four (if we want to lie small). Whatever it is, Oge Okoye and her team are free to take these recommendations. Who knows, someone might even start a GoFundMe page to buy her Rob and Rosy. Who knows?