Is All Buzz Good Buzz?
You doubtlessly have heard many people parroting the notion that “all publicity is good publicity”.
Is it really though?
If you are a global, financially sound and very much established brand, maybe. Because, when communication or PR disasters strike, these types of companies have the money and experience to make the most out of their time in the headlines.
They can issue apologetic statements (though not everyone does so in a conducive manner) that are eagerly scooped up by mainstream media outlets. They can harness the opportunity to roll out policy changes. They can, generally, expect their bottom line to not be impacted on a devastating scale—at least not permanently…and they have enough capital to weather the storm until the rage dies down.
However, these brands will still be tarnished in the minds of certain consumers, though whether or not these disappointed clients allow this opinion to stop themselves from continuing to purchase a products or utilize a services is another matter altogether.
So, did the negative buzz elevate a given disgraced brand's status at the end of the day? Probably not.
It may demonstrate that they are able to handle a mishap with charm and grace, winning them a few new admirers, but even if this is the case, you can bet your bottom dollar that someone in the cogs paid the price for the error; every communication catastrophe has its scapegoat.
If you are small startup or up-and-coming business, a damning faux pas may lead your company to close its door permanently. It happens more often than you’d imagine, even to brilliantly innovative organizations with a steady stream of customers.
Because in the age of social media, a mistake is no longer "just" a mistake. You cannot control the narrative of an unhappy public and trying to do so may end up making you look even worse in the long run.
Your best bet, if you ever do find yourself on the brink of a PR casualty, is to enlist the help of a seasoned expert who is trained to navigate such scenarios. Please, please, please do not attempt to wing it, as doing so rarely produces good, or even moderately okay, results.