There’s an old saying in Marketing and PR, which you might have heard before: Any press is good press. The concept is pretty simple: stay in the news, get attention, enjoy the benefits. It’s better to be in the news than not, right? We know all kinds of celebrities and reality stars that subscribe to this approach, and for many of them, willing or not, it works! Think about the controversies and scandals that have plagued Kanye and Kim; has their “reputation” suffered?
As long as your name and face are out there, it’s impossible to lose, right? Wrong!
Sorry to admit this, but most of us will never attain the celebrity status of a Kanye West or Kim Kardashian. Their outsize personas, unlimited financial backing, diversified portfolios, story spinning and creation, and evident disregard for public opinion suggest that they and many others receive good PR no matter what they do.
For the rest of us, especially in our professional lives, reputation and good PR is everything. Having credibility is critical to our success, and in many ways credibility is easier to destroy than it is to gain.
We should always strive to put out positive PR. And if/when we experience negative PR, we should always strive to do damage control as quickly as possible.
Here are a few examples of bad PR that will damage your name recognition and brand:
Your product is not good.
People often associate bad products with bad companies. If a product breaks after a single use, if it does not work as advertised, if customer service is lacking – all of these reveal great perils in working with you. Low quality product, low quality business. Avoid being linked in the press with a product that fails to meet expectations.
You were accused of fraud.
Having a strong character is one way in which your name will receive positive recognition. Being accused of fraud, however, indicates that you may be dishonorable and shady, and if you’re not “guilty” yourself, you associate with those types of people. Remember: you may be guilty by association, and public judgment can be harsh if you’re accused of misleading others.
You’re known for being a jerk.
It is rare that business leaders get second and third chances to make a strong impression on behalf of their company. For this reason, when your reputation for being a jerk is already firmly established in the industry, you can count on all PR being bad PR. People will see through any attempt to spin a story as “good PR” because they already know you for who you are. The same is true internally. Employees who know you for being less-than-pleasant, will not speak highly of you when asked. They may even sour on the idea of working for you, and at that point the attrition will make your true nasty colors show.
The best way to avoid negative PR is to constantly strive for positive PR. Most people want to be recognized for having unique perspectives, for doing extraordinary things, for creating a better-than-best product. Once you acknowledge this, you will begin to see that “Any press is not good press; good press is the best press!”
For further discussion or comments, please contact Gail L. Trugman Nikol, President Unique Business Solutions, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (516) 935-5641.