Saturday, November 28, 2015

Is there any difference between provider bad publicity and PR in social media?

I wonder anymore with the individuals now being the new paparazzi if there is any longer a real difference between the concepts of the difference between publicity and public relations, good or bad in health care?  The power of the Internet of Things and social media is undeniable in defining a brand, company or even an individual for that matter, for better or worse.

So when some major visual branding mistakes by companies that I recently wrote about and termed as bad PR in a blog post, I was admonished for making a mistake and calling it bad PR when it was deemed publicity.

Well, that got me to thinking.

Now that being said, I appreciate the viewpoint of the commenter.  But so many things have changed in marketing and public relations with social media and the Internet of Things,  is there such a clear line anymore between it's just bad publicity, not PR, or are they now one in the same?

That is not to say that companies and PR firms should not continue to engage in publicity generating activities. That I do think remains a valued tactic to promote and build brand awareness when the tactics, messages and visuals are under one's control.

But when adverse publicity by the new paparazzi, namely the individual using social media and it goes viral, is it any longer just “bad publicity” or does it move to the world of Public Relations?  How much damage is there to the credibility and brand of the company in the process? Is it simply oh look at those idiots?  Or, does the brand suffer in the eyes of a particular audience causing lost sales?

And just what does the difference in the semantic distinction of is it just bad publicity in social media, not PR mean for healthcare providers?

That is the crux of the question.  

In an enormous sense, the choice of whether or not its publicity or PR, will have a lasting impact on the brand of the healthcare provider. The positive or negative publicity generated by an individual in healthcare social media and the Internet of Things stays around forever. With 41 percent of individuals using social media and the Internet of Things to find out about providers and use that information to make a choice, it’s just not bad publicity anymore.

I guess the decision of its just bad publicity and not PR will always be in the eye of the beholder. But for my money if I were at a healthcare provider, I would consider it bad PR in the new healthcare consumer-oriented retail health care market.

Nowadays, the game has changed, and the lines blurred between what is bad publicity or PR.

What would you do?

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