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Is All PR "Good" PR?

Merriam-Webster defines public relations as "the job of providing information about a particular person or organization to the public so that people will regard that person or organization in a favorable way." If that is the true definition of PR, then should all PR really be viewed as good PR?

While negative media exposure can sometimes be responsible for helping a brand or public figure gain notoriety, it doesn't mean that customers will be more inclined to support the company or person of interest. Only if one is not concerned with people liking their company, purchasing their products or services, or advocating their brand to others can it be agreed upon that all PR is good PR. Ultimately, negative PR can tarnish a brand's reputation and be the only thing that comes to mind moving forward.

Take the recent scandal surrounding Volkswagen as an example. After rigging cars with devices that dishonestly improved results on emissions tests, the organization has faced scrutiny. Although Volkswagen has apologized for their actions, they are still faced with potential financial penalties that could hurt the brand. The most important question currently being raised is whether they can be trusted again?

While negative PR for a brand is oftentimes detrimental, the same can't always be said for people. In many instances, for celebrities, it is more accepted that all PR is beneficial. After all, that is part of their allure—the drama and intrigue.

The digital age we live in infiltrates nearly all aspects of life. From blogs to digital editions of magazines and online newspapers, PR now lives on the internet. This technological era has created opportunities for companies to gain more immediate and widespread media coverage. This is great when PR is positive, but terrible when PR is negative. The new and improved methods of communication that the internet provides allow PR to spread very far, very quickly. In many instances, widespread negative online PR makes it nearly impossible to recover from, to regain a brand's positive image.

With clients residing primarily in the hospitality industry, Alternative Strategies is dedicated to securing creative and relevant media coverage for clients. We turn to outlets that are applicable to our clients' images and offerings to secure media coverage. Brand awareness is not all that matters; it is only part of the equation. To create loyal fans and customers, PR should be positive, honest and relevant.