All publicity is good…right?

I’ve had this conversation on many occasions, is all publicity good publicity? I watched a show recently and a group of women were talking about the fact that one of them had been in the media and she wasn’t concerned about the fact that the publicity wasn’t favourable or positive it was entirely negative but to her all that mattered was that her name is out there.  That is something I hear often, people think as long as they’re being spoken about is all that matters.

Well as a professional in the business that has had to manage crisis communications on behalf of clients I don’t agree with this statement at all. Think about it, I’ve said it before if you’re a restaurant owner and you get a huge amount of negative media attention for food poisoning and rodent infestation how do you think that would impact your sales? I think it’s fair to say that your restaurant might look like a ghost town depending on the severity of the coverage.

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Think of recent issues that have hit the media, an example is clothing brand H&M, one of their poster campaigns depicted a young black boy wearing a hoodie that featured the phrase ‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’. Somehow this was approved which says to me that the company need more diverse employees at the decision making levels and certainly in the marketing department. They were dragged through social media and the media for there lack of judgement. The scandal affected bottom line sales as well as loosing trust from consumers.

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Another example is Roseanne Barr star of popular US sitcom ‘Rosanne‘ who came under fire for some disparaging and racist remarks about a former advisor to president Obama’s advisor she made that resulted in her shown being pulled and her being fired.

These are loads of examples to illustrate how bad publicity has hurt brands. I believe there is such a thing as bad publicity and while most do recover from the crisis if handled openly and transparently the bad publicity they’ve received has done some serious reputation damage for at least the short term….. and maybe longer.

Now you’ve heard from me, but what do you think? Do you believe that all publicity is good publicity?  Feel free to leave a comment!

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