This week Angelina Jolie announced that she had preventative mastectomy surgery to reduce her risk of breast cancer.
People are debating her decision to have the surgery. Most seem be fully supporting the move.
She clearly made a smart decision in announcing it as she did; Angelina Jolie dramatically enhanced her personal brand.
By proactively announcing the news, Jolie emerges as a proactive, thoughtful spokesperson. She encourages other women to look into their individual situation and do what is best. Jolie is concerned for others.
Jolie also takes control of the message. While she had kept the procedure quiet, it would be impossible to ensure absolute secrecy long-term. If she didn’t announce it, the news would probably come out as some big secret, which would be bad in many ways
Importantly, the announcement came in the form of an editorial in the New York Times. This is perfect place to announce the news. The New York Times is perhaps the most respected media brand in the world. Jolie wrote an editorial, which suggests a level of seriousness. She explained her decision in-depth and she avoided the circus of a news conference.
You have to respect Angelina Jolie. She makes tough decisions. She also knows how to build a brand in good times and bad.