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April 21, 2011

PRSA: Protecting a Company's Reputation Trumps Celebrity Publicity — USA TODAY Letter to the Editor

PRSA had a letter to the editor of USA TODAY published in the April 21, 2011, print and online editions, in response to an April 11 article on the reputational effects of negative publicity on corporations and startups.

Letters: Protect company’s brand
Published: April 21, 2011

USA TODAY business columnist Steve Strauss wisely advises readers not to follow the self-aggrandizing publicity tactics of Donald Trump (“Trump seems to think ‘there is no such a thing as bad publicity,’”, April 11).
It would be unfortunate if aspiring entrepreneurs took Trump’s over-the-top media strategy as an example for how to successfully build a brand. It’s not. As Strauss rightly points out, a company’s “brand is precious.” More precious is its equity. The value of maintaining a positive brand reputation outweighs the short-term gains that often accompany voyeuristic celebrity publicity.
Celebrities continue to embrace individual publicity because it feeds the same curiosity that has given rise to gossip websites and reality shows. But whereas bad publicity can initiate or rekindle interest in a celebrity, negative publicity is potentially more harmful to a company or brand.
Rosanna M. Fiske
Chair and CEO
Public Relations Society of America
New York

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