Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Is any PR good PR?
I know it must be odd to think that someone slating your businesses for all to hear can be anything but negative PR, but in the past, just the fact that your organisation was being discussed, meant that the PR, however damaging, was a good thing. To be in the public eye was of primary importance, despite the image that was being created.
Although every business wants to be positively represented to its audience, sometimes things occur that you can’t control, and the conversations about you are happening for all the wrong reasons. Which leads to bad PR. The fact that they are talking about you means you are larger than a dot on the horizon, and more important too, but combining this with the negative subject, means that people begin to know you for the negative reasons.
In 2009, Chris Brown received a lot of media attention, but unfortunately it was not to do with his blossoming pop career. Accusations of domestic violence by is girlfriend of the time, Rhianna, saw the singer rocket into the limelight, for the worst kind of reasons. People who would have otherwise never heard of the singer were regularly referencing him in conversation without any knowledge of his career. Although you couldn’t argue that there was increased knowledge about Chris Brown, he was out there on the lips of the world and was infamous. This kind of PR, however, could certainly not be classed as good PR. Luckily for Brown, his PR team emphasised his development throughout anger management classes and personal development, illustrating his attempts to change his ways. He later went straight to number one, showing his PR completely re-invented his tarnished image.
The animal rights organisation PETA (people for the ethical treatment of animals) used a unique opportunity to gain PR using a story covered in the papers last week about a PR manager who had threatened to sack all his employees if they didn’t replace the milk when finished. Upon reading this the PR from PETA sent to the office a crate of Soya milk, displaying the benefits of non animal-sourced products, as well as the dietary benefits for the staff that will have fewer days off due to dairy related illnesses. This is a unique way to gain PR from a seemingly unrelated news item.
Bad PR can be brand tarnishing and can sometimes break businesses. Due to the constant access to the Internet nowadays, each individual, on various forums can be an advocate of your brand. This development means that PR professionals no longer just need to keep an eye on potential crises in the real world, but also dangers developing in the Internet realm. Any PR can be good as long as you don’t care what people think about your business.
PR is, in general, concerned with the outcome of campaigns, and whether or not a campaign is successful depends solely on results. Despite individual benefits that may occur throughout the process, if the end result isn’t positive, then from a PR perspective it is a failure.
So how do ensure that your entire PR is good PR? Well, if you read Do your PR like Lady Gaga you will understand that you need to control what is being said about your business at all times. If you don’t like the conversation, change it! It takes a lot of time to discover what is being said about your business as you will need to search on a lot of outlets, from social networks to discussion forums, but once you know, you can begin to solve problems that arise and provide solutions for the negativity.
Despite the origins of your negative PR, whether true or not, or even if they are not your fault, you have to make sure that it seems to your audience, that you are addressing issues as this will help to maintain a strong and positive brand image.