Any Publicity Is (not) Good Publicity

Everyone knows the phrase "any publicity is good publicity". This phrase gets used often, usually by people that don’t understand the role, and power, of well-managed public relations.

I’d suggest eliminating it from your vocabulary. First, it’s not always true. Secondly, it’s a slap in the face to people that work hard for their clients.

Any company or individual can get publicity. Stop rush hour traffic in a bird suit on a slow news day and you’re likely to get some news outlet to give you five seconds. However, when millions of dollars and market share points are on the line, it’s important  not to have the mentality that all publicity is good.

The Big Deal: Now, Internet users can get RSS feeds on the toolbar of their browser, sent to their e-mail or aggregated and sorted using a service like Google Reader. This matters because it allows people to scan headlines faster. It also allows people to create associations, positive or negative, based on limited facts.

It is more important now than ever to:

1). Attract positive news coverage when there aren’t internal problems — investors, customers, can see your brand in positive light by only seeing a positive headline.
2). Treat employees as fairly as possible — blogs, and newspaper tiplines, make it easy for frustrated employees to be heard.
3). Prepare for crisis situations.
4). Get fair coverage in crisis situations so that people can hear the company’s side of the story in a flame-throwing article.

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