• Reggie Abang

Bad publicity is…the worst one

As an A.B. Mass Communications major, one of the things that I learned was the tips and tricks of Public Relations or PR. My former Public Relations professor would always say this phrase, “bad publicity is still good publicity.” Simply put, any publicity from either personality or company, no matter how bad it presented, it is “helpful” to the company’s image. It doesn’t matter if it is positive or negative. The phrase was evident in PR attempts of every company. We can’t elaborate that one time a liquor company compare drinking their aged brandy with pedophilia because of the former’s tag line for an ad. That is one example of the said phrase.

This might be the same with the recent publicity stunt made by HalloHallo Entertainment (HHE) with MNL48 and their “#SaveTheDate.” For months, the company hyped up the date of September 30, 2020 with no clue of what is its purpose for the idol group. Even its members doesn’t know anything regarding the campaign except acting for a “pseudo-commercial” where they were given envelopes with unknown contents for their TikTok channel.

What's worse is the things that happened on the day itself. September 30th came and fans expected good news related either to their incoming 3rd General Elections or their incoming single, “RIVER.” However, what they got was the opposite. HHE President Paolo Kurosawa released a statement regarding the idol group’s status during the pandemic, which include their digital activities. But in that long statement HHE released, there is one part fans did not expect to know. In the said statement, Kurosawa said that in order to focus on the members easier, they decided to cut down the group’s numbers to 36. The announcement was not welcomed by the fans. But the worst part is how they presented it. Instead of simply airing the said statement in their social media accounts, they just added additional fanfare through a video package.

In my opinion, “#MNL48SaveTheDate” was by far the one of the worst publicity work HHE did for MNL48. For them, the phrase was like their motto. They think bad publicity stunts such as these, no matter how bad the backlash is, can generate exposure to the idol group. On paper and on execution, it worked, but on the long run, it will be ineffective and will decrease the integrity of not just MNL48 but also the company itself. Bad publicity should not be considered as good publicity, especially if it's for an idol group that is struggling to swim in the harsh waters of Philippine entertainment.

From press releases that did not even bother to went through proofreading to missing every possible great opportunities such as doing commercials for their singles, HHE are moving backwards in terms of providing publicity for the idol group. They have the manpower and the resources, but they lack execution. Kurosawa et al should invest in improving their public relations and discard the mentality coming from that phrase. It is a win-win situation once they see the great importance of good publicity.


Author’s note: It is been months since my recent “Mokugekisha” column. I had taken my months full of rest and I am ready to write commentaries again, especially regarding the incoming General Elections.

It feels good to be back it seems. I cannot wait to talk about things related the fan polls and everything regarding the fandom.

Until then…

Take care and have fun!

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and does not reflect the views held by the entirety of PAKSA MNL and fellow MNLoves.

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