Why Bad Publicity Is Not Good Publicity Anymore

A world where consumers pay much more attention to whom they’re purchasing from

Andrei Tapalaga ✒️
Feb 13 · 4 min read
Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay

We’re living in a world where society is becoming more and more demanding for various resources, and with the rise of these demands, you also get a rise in expectations. In other words, you can’t just walk away from a wrong move.

These expectations are built on the standards that you set yourself in the market or industry. If something bad happens (controllable or uncontrollable) and the media finds out about it, you can consider a big loss for that month or even year depending on how badly you tripped.

Bad publicity isn’t good anymore as people are starting to research what certain companies have done in the past before making a purchase. This doesn’t only apply to the consumer base but also to the potential partnerships that you can have with other businesses.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look from a marketing perspective at how bad publicity affects businesses or people in general and if there are any solutions to previous events that have caused bad publicity.


Bad Publicity? At Least It’s Publicity

Not anymore. People are becoming more aware of businesses in the market, and they become more skeptical when they purchase from a new business as they don’t know much about them. This is why I keep urging new businesses to create packaging for their product that tells a story about the product, from the designing process all the way to production and even packaging itself.

This story will engage the consumer to the brand, which brings a strong possibility of them wanting to purchase the product. This isn’t just about the product but also about the people that work with you. Just go out there and search “employer bad conduct with customer,” and you’ll find lots of scandals from different businesses that have suffered severely from such cases of bad publicity.

On the other hand, most of these cases do apply to smaller businesses that truly require publicity in order to make a stain in the market. It’s up to them to decide if this stain will be positive or negative.

Even YouTube content creators need to be careful with the stuff they’re posting as the consumer base can end their channel in minutes. This is what annoys me the most — people don’t understand that consumers are the ones with the true power. They choose to invest in your business (indirectly by making a purchase) based on how good your marketing is to attract them and, most importantly, retain them.


Is the Risk Worth It?

Sometimes, businesses or content creators will seek out bad publicity on purpose to make a name for themselves. This mainly applies to small companies or a person that wants to become famous overnight. Their desperation leads them to come up with more impactful projects that at the same time can go very bad.

A content creator who wants to gain more attention in a short period of time will try to find a very controversial piece of news and give a different (usually negative) opinion on the matter in order to attract bad publicity. Yes, they may become popular for a day or two, but in the end, most people will remember them for their poor/negative opinion.

Many businesses also risk the name of their company by accessing cheap labor in third world countries. Which is fine as long as you pay them a fair wage for their work (sadly, in most cases they don’t). However, in recent years, many businesses that have the financial resources to produce their product in their home country have started advertising that they’re supporting a more sustainable society by not using third world labor.

At this point, those businesses that don’t advertise how or where their products are being produced are seen as bad by consumers. So, therefore, you need to inform your customers about the way you produce the product as well as how you’re being a sustainable business.

With this said, it’s imperative to understand that the consumer base is most likely to remember you or your brand for the bad publicity rather than good, and in most cases, they remember you when they’re faced with a competitor’s product. Then, they’re most likely to choose the competitor’s product as they haven’t gone through bad publicity.

Therefore you should ask yourself, is the high risk/high reward worth it?


Good Publicity Also Sells

Many people speculate that the media is not after good publicity but bad publicity as that’s what sells to the public. I’m not saying that this is untrue, but at the same time, as the consumer base is evolving they’re starting to realize that positivity is healthier for us than negativity.

Positive news might not be as interesting or entertaining, but when corporations have more success in the market, they start realizing how important corporate social responsibilities can be.

You want to show honesty to the customer through the company’s brand. This means sharing all the bad things as well as how you have improved, turning your past bad publicity into future good publicity that can bring more sales, a better reputation, and a stronger position in the market.

Better Marketing

Advice & case studies

Andrei Tapalaga ✒️

Written by

Avid Writer with invaluable knowledge in Business Studies, History and Psychology. “You make your own life” atapalaga97@gmail.com /University of Surrey

Better Marketing

Advice & case studies

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