Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Are Taking Control Of Their Image After Several Social Media Blunders
Over the past few months, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have slowly broken away from the rest of the royal family by moving out of the palace and into Frogmore Cottage at Windsor and separating their social media accounts and philanthropic endeavors from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But, building your own brand can have its own set of challenges. And after several social media blunders, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are taking control of their image.
Leading from the front
Harry and Meghan recently launched the Sussex Royal Foundation so they can focus on charitable causes that are most important to them. Their charity shares the same name as their Instagram account which allows Harry and Meghan to build their brand both nationally and internationally. According to Juliet Rieden, author of The Royals In Australia, the parents of Archie Harrison have their own media and brand strategy.
“They’re going to lead from the front, they’re going to control their own media with their own social media accounts,” Rieden told Nine News Australia.
One of the tactics of the new media strategy is producing a documentary series for Apple+ with Oprah Winfrey that focuses on mental health. Rieden says it’s a good fit and an interesting initiative to see a royal and a TV veteran together on a bigger stage.
“I truly believe that good mental health – mental fitness – is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities, and a purpose-driven self. It is a huge responsibility to get this right as we bring you the facts, the science and the awareness of a subject that is so relevant during these times,” said Prince Harry.
The Duke of Sussex added that he was “incredibly proud” to work with Winfrey on the “vital” series, and the legendary talk show host says they hope the project will have an impact on reducing the stigma around mental health and wellness and allow people to speak up.
Getting interactive with followers on Instagram
Harry and Meghan’s Instagram account @SussexRoyal was a hit from the moment they created it. They received 2.4 million followers in just the first day, and four months later they are approaching the ten million mark.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s social media strategy is noticeably different than the rest of the royal family. Just about everyone else communicates primarily through Twitter, and the posts usually feature official photos and statements written by the palace media center.
However, Harry and Meghan are highlighting causes they care about, sharing personal moments – like the birth of their son, and they are writing many of their Instagram posts themselves so they can communicate directly with their fans. The @Sussex Royal Instagram account has also gone interactive, as the Duke and Duchess are asking for suggestions from their followers to find out more about organizations that need some attention.
For their new social media campaign, each month they will choose 15 charity, nonprofit, or activist accounts to follow, and recently they asked their followers for some input.
“For the month of August, we look to you for help. We want to know who YOUR Force for Change is…. Each month, we change the accounts we follow to highlight various causes, people or organizations doing amazing things for their communities and the world at large,” wrote the couple.
This question went along with the September issue of British Vogue titled “Forces for Change” that Markle guest-edited which featured 15 “trailblazing women” on the cover.
Unfollowing William and Kate
Before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced the 15 accounts they chose to follow for the month of August, they unfollowed everyone else they had been following, including @KensingtonRoyal, William and Kate’s Instagram account.
Harry and Meghan were looking for account suggestions that feature organizations doing amazing work, accounts that inspire, and individual people to look up to.
Thousands of followers commented on the post, including many William and Kate fans who suggested the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge should get some recognition. However, they didn’t make the cut.
Some of the organizations that made the list were Save the Bees, Children International, Blink Now Foundation, Global Wellness Day, and Tiny Tickers Charity.