Wednesday, November 22, 2006

All publicity is good publicity

My father used to work for Townsend Thoresen, the UK based cross-channel car ferry firm, who suffered the tragic loss of a ship and many passengers lives in 1987. Up until then I think I honestly believed in adage above, but now I take a very different view and evidence can now prove this beyond all reasonable doubt.

A study from the US bases Institute of PR has show that not only do sales increase when positive coverage enters the media, but also that sales can drop when a bad news story gets out. The example quoted is from the US where a group of chest physicians said that all cough mixtures were useless. This graph illustrates sales of cough mixture in red, and the number of stories relevant to the physicians announcement in blue.

There are a couple of other interesting aspects to this research which I will leave for another day.