There is an old saying “Any publicity is good publicity,” but is that really true? I’m inclined to think it’s not. The way I see it first impressions are very important. If a major news network picks up your group or cause and frames you in a negative light, then the general public is going to have a bad impression of you. A friend of mine suggested that while people might dislike your group, they will be made aware of you and that will get them to think. If they investigate your group and what you stand for, they may even be won over to your side.
At first I accepted this, but upon considering it further, I think it rests on a major flaw. It assumes that people will think; that they will take the time out of their day to examine your group and the reasons behind what you believe. Unfortunately I think this gives humanity way too much credit. It has been my experience that the mass of humanity is comprised of idiots who actively try to avoid thinking. If a news agency picks up your group and casts you in a negative light, then that’s the first and final impression everyone will have of your group. Sure there will be some people who take the time to critically examine your group, but there are so few of them that the strategy of “any publicity is good publicity” is not efficient.
I really feel it is better to be unknown than hated. The key difference between those states is your potential. A group that is unknown has the potential to be viewed in a positive light by the rest of the world. A group that is known and viewed negatively does not have that potential because the majority of people’s minds are already made up. Their battle is all the more difficult because of this. It’s easier to win people over if they don’t have any preconceived notions about you than it is to win them over if they dislike you.
So what do you think? Is any publicity really good publicity? Or should you be mindful of how you’re portrayed and seen by the people you’re attempting to win over?