Beware: all publicity isn’t always good publicity

We’ve all heard the old maxim:  “Bad press is better than no press.”  And while there is a bit of truth to that (as many sayings have) you want to be careful in how closely you adhere to that philosophy.

One group of marketers believe that bad press should be avoided at all costs – and that getting involved in a controversial topic will inevitably backfire.

the other school of thought believes that press of any kind – good, bad or indifferent – creates a stream of commentary, which gets your name “out there”  – and that getting your name out there means people will know your name.

I personally don’t like stirring the pot or deliberately jumping into a controversy for no reason. It’s just that – there’s no reason. I rarely can even FIND a reason even if I’m really trying hard to find a reason to jump in the middle of a controversy…. and I don’t think that even relates to the fact that by and large I don’t like conflict anyway.

But there are times to stand up and get in the middle of an argument – here’s a few to consider:

1.  Defending your tribe.  I often find myself defending, or even tauting the wonderful characteristics of the “younger” generation of college students to those employers who wonder if there are any decent college graduates to hire.  I might be biased – but I do believe there are a lot of great college students to hire, just like there are awesome Gen Xers, Boomers and even grandparents to hire. I believe that hiring great people has nothing to do with age and rather to do with who they are as individuals.

2. Defending your brand.  There are plenty of decisions that you are going to make as a business owner that won’t be popular with pundits, the public – even your own “peeps”.  But if you can always ensure that you are making good business decisions that are in line with your business values and in the best intrest in both you and your customers, you will generally weather any storm.

3. Stand up for your beliefs. Know what you believe, and why you believe it. That doesn’t mean you need to spew your politics all over your blog (or at least I don’t). But you do need to understand who you are and what your core values are, because they are going to permeate their way through out your business.




Category: Customer Relationships, PR

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