Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase before: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” This is usually said in response to seeing a PR crisis happening to a celebrity or a corporation. It’s usually said in a way to look at the bright side of things. Sure, the PR crisis in question is a total fucking nightmare for the individual or business at the center of it. They’re the ones trying to figure out how the hell to get out of this mess for the better. But hey- there’s no such thing as bad publicity! Right?

In 2020 however, I would argue that that phrase is obsolete. Good publicity is hard to come by anymore. But when it’s there, it’s important to promote and savour as much as possible. It can boost your business’ profile, as well as increase sales, followers and much more.

Meanwhile, bad publicity can cause a decrease in sales and followers (among other things). It can also irreparably destroy your business’ profile and subsequent reputation. This can even go so far as to destroy the business entirely. If your sales get too low because no one wants to dare associate themselves with your business, that spells the end.

To be fair, there have been several past instances of bad publicity resulting in positive results. But that very rarely happens anymore. Some loyal customers or fans may stick by despite how terrible a scandal is for a company or celebrity. But a majority of them will more than likely jump ship- regardless of the severity of the scandal.

With the rise of so-called “Cancel Culture”, we’re seeing more and more examples of this happening. Sometimes it’s a more than necessary response. But other times, it’s too extreme of a response to a scandal. Regardless of what the scandal calls for or your opinion on it as a whole, Cancel Culture is still a popular response to bad publicity. There’s no doubt that despite its well-deserved criticism, Cancel Culture will continue to happen every time a celebrity or business finds themselves in hot water.

The results of good publicity are vast and wonderful for any celebrity or business. It gets your name out there for those who haven’t heard of you before. Sure, bad publicity does the exact same thing. But there’s that negative connotation attached to your name in this instance. It’s there, and it will stay stuck on you for a long time to come. You can try your best to get rid of it, but that doesn’t mean that it will be successful. More often than not, bad publicity can cling onto a celebrity or business forever.

At the end of the day, bad publicity is something that no celebrity or business can afford to have. In today’s day and age when news travels fast and people are incredibly quick to decide the truth for themselves (even if all the facts aren’t in just yet), you need to focus more on any and all good publicity that comes your way. As for bad publicity- you better be prepared for how to handle the inevitable backlash that will surely come your way.




Published by Elizabeth Sarah Larkin

Freelance Writer & Social Media Manager

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