The Power of Bad Publicity

“Bad publicity is Good publicity”; does that sound familiar? You’ve probably heard it in a negative context, and it’s often synonymous with celebrity agents and other culturally frowned upon professions. However, it does have its time and place in business and branding. Right now, you’re probably thinking um, no, no it doesn’t. Hear us out! Perhaps a better way to frame this would be to stop being worried about bad publicity. Why is that? Here are a few ways bad publicity can work in your favor:


  1. Getting Your Name Out There

Of course, you as a business want to avoid having any negative link to your name. However, sometimes it’s unavoidable regardless of how authentic and careful you are in your day to day operations. Bad publicity happens to every business at some point—maybe someone leaves a bad review, or an interaction is thrown out of context by the media. It happens. However, focus on this fact: negativity unfortunately makes faster rounds than positivity. While we patiently pray for that change…a business can use it as an advantage. Consider it free advertising. Why? See number two.

  1. It Gives You a Platform

When this negative attention and negative publicity comes into play, how do you think the community or media will want to proceed? They will want to talk to you and your business. This can be a PR nightmare, or a PR dream. Why? Because it gives you a platform in which to correct the context and rectify actions that may have been misinterpreted. It also gives you a chance to get in the viewers’ eyes. It’s no secret that the media and social networks get a lot of things wrong by being quick to spread news, but that doesn’t mean they both aren’t great platforms that can be used for your business. Unfortunately, positive vibes don’t get a lot of air-time—an apology and “setting the record straight” often does.

  1. It gives you a chance to show the human side of your brand.

As humans, we have always and will continue to make mistakes. Find a business owner who didn’t make a mistake and you’ll find a business owner who hasn’t done much. Why? Because all great businesses have had a folly or two in their time. It’s natural and its human. Fortunately, branding should exemplify that. Consumers want to see the human side of a brand. If your business makes a mistake, don’t throw in the towel. Treasure that mistake as a way to show the humanity behind your brand and to work at being better and bigger in the future.


Still scared of bad publicity? That’s natural—and its human. There’s not a lot you can do as a business to prevent all publicity. Unfortunately, publicity is a double sided coin—you have to take the bad with the good. What you can avoid is losing your brand message due to lack of cultivation or guidance. With the right team behind your brand objectives for your business, all publicity can be good publicity. If you’re not sure how your business would do in a publicity setting right now, then you’re not confident in your brand. Let’s change that. Give us a call at Visual Caffeine. Let’s talk.

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