Paying the Price
The DMB Case Study
What price do bands pay when they “crap” on the little people? Ask the Dave Mathews Band (DMB). According to the smokinggun.com, the Illinois attorney general sued DMB to the tune of $70,000 in 2004 for allegedly dumping “80 to 100 gallons of liquid human waste” on the Kinzie Street bridge. This attention in the media did little to sell albums and plenty to disenchant fans. The band ended up donating $50,000 to the Friends of the Chicago River and the Chicago Park District.
It may be less an issue of the price those in the spotlight pay, and more of what is being wasted when publicity centers around news that is better suited for the tabloids. Instead of unfocused (and therefore unproductive) media coverage, it is better to concentrate on putting main stream media channels to good use.
Tuning in, Tuning out
Millions of people tune in to watch all of the various turns in Jackson’s career. Some happenings are interesting, some bizarre. Whether the audience tunes in to learn the latest news about the custody battle over his children, the possibility of losing the Neverland Ranch, or his cosmetic surgery operations, it can be captivating coverage. Unfortunately, the publicity is wasted. It has nothing to do with the music and ultimately may not help Jackson sell records.
Turning a Deaf Ear
As Kelly Koch, Kent State University student and fellow PR blogger puts it, “people stop listening and buying products after a reputation is tarnished.” To read Koch’s take on Brittany Spears, check out her blog on reputation management. She discusses the latest case study for Spears in her blog entry No such thing as bad publicity.