As a larger company or public-facing business, the reality is that those running your operation will be subject to a greater spotlight than those of smaller entities. How can this fit into your public relations (PR) strategy? How can you mitigate risks while working to highlight your strengths?

Last week, we discussed how corporate governance can play an important role in a successful PR strategy; today’s piece will explore how you can make the most of any publicity thrown your way.

The age-old adage of “any publicity is good publicity” exists, but how realistic is this notion? Research published in the Political Communications journal in 2018 found that within democratic institutions, that proverbial saying was true. On the other hand, the adage lost relevance in more authoritarian settings. More recently, research published in the International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science in 2022 found that this notion was outdated, especially in business. The more recent findings showed that while defying advertising ethics did not always produce “bad publicity,” non-compliance with corporate social responsibility (CSR) norms, controversial advertising, and scandals produced bad publicity.

So, what can we take away from this? Publicity management is an approximate science, an ever-evolving art form. All publicity might indeed be good publicity in political communications while not being the case in business. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the intricacies of public perception.

What you can take away from just this fraction of the research on this topic is that your best bet to de-risking your public faces is to lean into novelty while steering clear of some more apparent elements of “bad publicity.” Avoiding poor governance, the poor implementation of controversy in your messaging, and observing strong internal controls to prevent scandals before they happen are all excellent ways to mitigate PR risks.

PR is, once again, an ever-evolving art. If you want to speak to an expert PR firm with more than 20 years of experience, contact the Daisy Consulting Group for a free consultation.