3300+ Climbing Blog
In today's media-content-flooded era, the concept of bad publicity has become too broad for it to adequately describe a positive or adverse impact to an artist's career. We have to take into account, in my opinion, three different aspects: the magnitude of the transgression, the stage of development an artist is in and general audience perception.
So for example, if a little-known artist violates social norms in any way substantial enough for the transgression to gain attention, this could be categorized as useful bad publicity since the young act has, first, obtained his/her first wave of audience attention and second, has no previous audience perception on which to be judged upon so a chance for vindication and a shift in social reputation is very possible. In this case, one could argue, bad publicity is better than no publicity at all.
If an artist, on the other hand, has reached his/her point of maturity or decline, a violation of social norm can work as a double-edged sword. On one hand it can refreshen an act's reputation if its different (and forgivable) enough from what the audience is accustomed to or it could compliment an already established opinion that adds to that public image. For example, when Adele's PR team decided to monitor her Twitter interactions before making them public due to the artist's previous "drunk-tweeting" incidents, it served to compliment her audience's amicable image of her.
Even seemingly controversial topics and statements about them can be cataloged as beneficial bad publicity, provided the artist can handle the backlash both publicly and financially. Such is the case of Kanye West, an artist that has had no troubles to ultimately disappoint entire arenas filled with his fans by arriving late to a concert, ranting and then cutting short and storming off. For this type of public figure, holding back and remaining out of the spotlight can prove to be detrimental to their careers.
On the other hand, however, it is clear that excess or hefty transgressions can end a previously successful career in a very abrupt manner. It is important to keep in mind that if an artist chooses to address controversy with an entirely negative approach, the three different aspects of analysis mentioned at the beginning may become irrelevant. For example, in DJ Ten Walls' case, where he lost his contract with the label he had signed with after posting very negative depictions of homosexuals on his Facebook page, or the 1992's Sinead O'Connor's case where she tore a picture of the Pope while live in SNL's set.
The fact that today's artists can have complete control of their public relations tools by managing their social media platforms has accelerated the process of good and bad PR campaign to the point where any mistake can get buried under the loads of other information that floods in every day through the traditional media outlets. Or, it can always be brought up to remind everyone why someone's career ended up in the trash.
Boyle, Danny. "Adele banned from sending her own tweets as she used to post on Twitter when drunk." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 06 Nov. 2015. Web. 16 Jan. 2017.
Gibsone, Harriet. "No such thing as bad PR: Is social media saving or damaging the music industry?" The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 19 Feb. 2016. Web. 16 Jan. 2017.
Hilbert, Ernest. "Top Five Cases of Bad Publicity that Really was Bad." E-Verse Radio. N.p., 09 July 2010. Web. 16 Jan. 2017. <http://www.everseradio.com/top-five-cases-of-bad-publicity-that-really-was-bad/>.
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This is a blog following the students' work at 3300+ Climbing.