PR in Pop Culture

ss-090913-vma-tease.300wSo, you would have to live in a cave not to hear about the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) last night and appalling behavior by Kanye West. If you are unaware, check out the story here.

As most of us know, there is a school of thought that says all publicity is good. I would have to disagree with that theory. While it’s true that the world is talking about Kanye and his actions, does the message being sent really put him in the best light? My answer is no. In my opinion, the true winners in this case is Beyonce and Taylor Swift, both of whom walked away from the night with physical trophies and endless support from the music industry and fans alike.

From a PR perspective, I’ve heard the “all publicity is good” argument for years. While the point of publicity is to get your name in the news, why would someone choose to have their name associated with negative stories? I’ve yet to figure that out, and stay mystified today.

Now my PR mind says that Kanye is targeting an audience that wants to root for the “bad boy” and will support his record sales no matter what he does on stage or in front of a national audience. Perhaps his research shows that the only way he can continue to sell records is to misbehave and stir things up. If that’s the case, then the message being sent to those fans is seriously flawed. And I have to ask about the ethics of the publicists being paid by Kanye who came up with this idea. Ethics is a touchy subject, and varies by individuals.

I live by the “golden rule” — Treat others as you wish to be treated. I abide by that rule in everything I do. I treat people with respect professionally and personally. I would never dream up a PR scheme that would humiliate and embarrass another person or organization.

What do you think? What Kanye right or wrong? Is it true that all publicity is good? I am curious about your thoughts.


One Comment

  1. Kanye West was completely wrong. He took a moment from someone else and made it his. Unfortunately for him, most will remember him as a selfish, self-involved idiot with no disregard for anyone else. I think your golden rule is the only golden rule and Kanye should learn to follow it. Good post Kristen!


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