The saying ‘any PR is good PR’ gets thrown around in the world of business very often but is it the truth or in fact a myth? Many people that don’t work in public relations believe that as long as people are talking about your brand, it doesn’t really matter what they’re saying. Whereas those that work in the industry are likely to tell you that there are two sides to PR – good PR and bad PR, the latter of which you want to minimise with all your power. But who is right?
Well technically both are right. It all depends on the circumstances and the situation your brand is in.
Is any PR good for your business? Well it all depends on what you’re trying to achieve.
Getting a new brand noticed
If you are launching a new, unknown brand, you will face significant challenges, as in reality, you are not yet important to the consumer. No one has heard of your brand or has any idea what you are trying to sell to them. What’s more, you have to battle against already established competitors in your market and find a way to differentiate yourself. In this situation, it could be argued that any PR is good PR, as if people share your name; you are getting your brand out there and ultimately gaining attention.
New brands often find that they have to cause a stir or shock audiences in order to make an impact. This often leads them to using guerrilla marketing and questionable PR stunts in order to gain people’s attention. Even if the PR is not necessarily what you’d typically call ‘good PR,’ it’s raising awareness of the brand and getting them coverage.
A great example of this is the Go Compare adverts featuring the character Gio Compario, an operatic tenner. Whilst these adverts often land the number one spot on the world’s most annoying adverts lists and drive people crazy on social media sites like Twitter, they seem to do the job of gaining people’s attention.
Figures have showed that brand awareness is up 450% as a result of the campaign.
When any PR isn’t necessarily good PR…
Whilst any PR is good PR for some brands, if you have an established name that everyone has heard of, you have the challenge of maintaining your reputation. In these cases any PR isn’t necessarily good PR as if it harms your reputation it could be detrimental to future sales and success.
The saying ‘all PR is good PR’ is flawed in the case of well-established brands. Simply getting people to talk about your company has very little value, as your company is already known worldwide. In this case, it matters much more about what they are saying about your brand and whether it is positive. Negativity can quickly spread (especially in the age of social media) making it essential that brands focus on their image, reputation and positive PR.
Any PR will get people talking but it won’t necessarily generate sales or offer a ROI to the brand.
There’s a difference between increasing brand awareness and boosting sales
Whilst many people will argue that any PR is good PR for increasing brand awareness (which cannot be denied), if people are only saying negative things about a company, then it’s not going to help them boost their sales.
If good PR was not essential to brands, then PR companies would be out of business and true PR strategies would be irrelevant. It would all be about who can pull off the most shocking stunt to garner attention, rather than who can maintain a good reputation that customers believe in.
All PR is not created equal and in most situations, good PR will prove to be the most invaluable tool in communicating with audiences, winning their trust and achieving business success.