Nadya Suleman, aka the “Octomom,” the controversial mother of eight in vitro babies lost her pro-bono publicist yesterday. Joann Killeen, President of the Killeen Furtney Group said she could handle the media but was not prepared for the slew of nasty emails and voicemails.
However, Suleman now has an agent which is what she needs anyway to land endorsements, a reality show contract, or anything that will generate the estimated $1.5 million needed to care for her children. Wes Yoder of the Christian-based Ambassador Group is taking up the cause. He’s known for his work with Saddleback pastor Rick Waren, as well as with the McCaughleys, the parents of the first surviving septuplets, born in 1997. Even an old salt like Yoder might be underestimating the backlash soup of irresponsible IVF, media awkwardness and Angelina speculation, combined with the bad economy.
I predict a book deal with minimal sales, unless someone really savvy gets involved to recast her image. Think A-rod in reverse (stop the bleeding, hit 200 more dingers, and keep the cash). She needs to change herself, provide some type of mia-culpa in order to get the money in the first place. It’s a sad matter of survival. No TV deal, regardless, at least not for a series.
As always, this analysis is merely through the lens of PR strategy and tactics. It will also be interesting to see TLC and the Gosselin family (Jon & Kate Plus 8) continue to adjust their message accordingly.