Not all publicity is good publicity
“All publicity is good publicity.” In this article by Peter S. Goodman argues against the claim that all publicity is good publicity. In this article Goodman brings up three different companies that received a lot of media recognition, yet it was not helpful in any way. He cites the BP oil spill, Goldman playing the banking market and Toyota’s faulty gas pedal as three types of publicity that did more damage than good to the company’s image.
All of these events occurred around 2010, making Goodman’s examples relevant to both the time and his area. These companies took huge losses and the damage to their reputations will affect them economically for a while. It was only fitting for an economic journalist and author of a book titled “The end of easy money”, to write this story; his expertise on the area allows for credible insight.
Peter S. Goodman is an American economics journalist and author. His newspaper career started in Kyoto writing for the Japan Times. When Goodman came back to the United States in 1993, he returned to school at California Berkley. He later worked for the Washington Post and the New York Times and was a national correspondent during the financial crisis of 2008. Goodman wrote this story in 2010 for the New York Times, giving a few pointers of what not to do when a crisis happens.
Goodman puts in three great titles for each crisis, “A Disaster, Made Worse” (BP), “Squandered Good Will” (Toyota), and “A Laser Focus on Profits” (Goldman Sachs). He brought three prime examples of how the three crises were handled badly. BP put together advertising that no one wanted to see; their CEO was quoted saying “I would like my life back too” which reporters used against the company and they lied about the amount of oil spilled which killed their credibility. Toyota went a different way and said that something was wrong but only gave out information when it became a problem. Goldman was shown to just be profit driven, with no regard for their customers.
This story was very well written and gave great insight about what not to do when you are in a crisis. A comment about the story said “It was 5,000 words of wisdom and illustrates the need for worst case scenario planning in advance with a team that knows the personalities good and bad.” Goodman says it is better to lay it all out there and leave nothing out because someone will find out; people that say everything up front have a much easier time recovering. He also says that every business should have a crisis plan so that when is gets to the crunch time you can lay it all out on the table and work on recovering instead of covering up your mistakes. The claim that honesty is the best defense is proven true. People wouldn’t have been as mad if every business given them the truth.