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Good PR vs Bad PR: the battle continues

good-vs-badThere’s a lot said in the constantly evolving world of Public Relations to understand the basic difference between ‘good PR’ and ‘bad PR’. The question asked often is can any of these two ‘variants’ of PR eliminate the other?

There was a time when the PR agencies use to be straightforward in their approach. Then, the world of PR focussed upon maximising coverage and more importance was given to quantity compared to quality. But things have changed now. The saying that “any publicity is good publicity” has little relevance in today’s technology-driven businesses.

More businesses are emphasising upon cutting through the chatter and getting featured only in those media publications that help brand positioning.

As the battle between ‘good PR’ and ‘bad PR’ continues, the onus lies with PR consulting agencies to create a clear differentiation so that businesses understand the frugality of the exercise and take steps accordingly.

What is good PR?

Top PR agencies in India are of the opinion that good PR initiatives help to set the ‘right tone’ for a business/company. In simple words, this PR version kickstarts brand positioning efforts and put forth what a company stands for (reliable, trustworthiness etc). In fact, PR pros say that a brand image decides the entire course of action for a business. Every article, press release, client testimonial, case study and white paper will focus upon the business’ claim of reliance.

Apart from following a proactive approach, good PR efforts ensure that an agency suggests result-oriented tactics that help strategic use of upcoming events, tradeshows, special magazine articles etc. Likewise, a client-centric PR agency is better positioned to tap the available opportunities for the clients (such as interviews, speaking engagement, event participation etc).

In the long run, good PR projects client in a positive light, which in turn promotes their stand in the industry and compels the customers to opt for your service/product.

Moreover, it is able to reach out to millions of audiences as compared to advertising, along with boosting the internal and external understanding of the enterprise, strategies, goals achieved. Good PR stimulates demand for products/services and the enterprise is viewed as progressive.

Also Read: Insight-driven creativity key to PR industry

lossAnd bad PR?

Bad PR is that which is driven by no strategy, underlying plan or a purpose to solve. Moreover, such a move doesn’t focus upon establishing a cohesive image of an enterprise/products/services. Most of the time, bad PR is unplanned and occurs randomly.

Most enterprises, primarily the startups facing financial constraints, feel bad publicity is better than no PR at all. Some marketing gurus say bad PR as nonetheless important as it can enhance sales when a product or an enterprise does not enjoy market standing, because it is capable of stimulating product awareness.

It is suggested that when negative publicity fades away, enhanced awareness may remain, which bolsters the chances of a product being purchased by consumers.

The parting words

While most branding experts debate the impact of stories with regard to profit and revenue, there’s no denying that in the court of public opinion, businesses face loss due to bad PR. This is very much evident by the growing count of social media groups and hashtag campaigns that have been initiated off late due to poor publicity.

Every company has a story to communicate that interests the media, audiences, existing clients, prospects, alliance partners, the industry at large. When a PR-focused communication process is implemented, the benefits are profound and long term that includes credibility, enhanced reputation and new business opportunities.

What’s your take? Do you think that all publicity is good publicity? Why or not? Share your opinion.

Also Read: Hottest PR strategies of 2016 every business should practice


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