Richard Layman and Wendy Guenther both brought up similar topics I want to address. Richard wants to know about the risk of offending people by doing controversial things like name an ice cream flavor Iraqi Road (which I mentioned in an earlier article).
Wendy brought my attention to a controversial issue that made the news. A potential juror in a British Court was dismissed for wearing a T-shirt from French Connection UK with its FCUK logo. French Connection has benefited tremendously by taking the controversial action of creating that logo.
In my opinion (and in my life) when you constantly worry about offending people, you sacrifice your life to every one of the 6 billion people on this planet. Its just not possible to avoid offending people. Some people spend their entire day just looking for things to offend them. If necessary, theyll even make up a reason to be offended.
Reporters love controversy. Its one of the most powerful ways to getting publicity. But there are risks involved.
Dont take a controversial or offensive position simply to get publicity. Itll bite you hard and cause you more problems than you want.
Dont take controversial, potentially offensive positions if you are too thin-skinned to put up with the possible reactions.
Only take a controversial position if you truly believe it and support it.
Several years ago when I was promoting my book How to Be Outrageously Successful With the Opposite Sex I sent out a press release with the headline:
Sex Book Expert Tells Women to Wise Up and Stop Whining!
The point of my story was that I know exactly how single women can get an endless parade of dates with men theyre interested in. Its easy and incredibly effective.
But they dont do it. Instead, they moan about how theyre alone. Makes no sense to me!
That press release got a fast and furious response from the media, especially from women reporters. But, when they heard the details of my story, they changed their tune and booked me for an interview. The honest ones even told me that what I was saying was right!
Some people cater to others because they want their money. They live in fear of offending people and losing their money. So theyll listen to things that truly irritate them and say nothing. Theyll deal with customers who should have been tossed long ago. Theyll even say they agree with things they find repulsive all for the fear of losing money.
Now some of you may want to avoid offending people out of respect. Thats fine and I certainly agree.
But many (most?) people live in fear of offending people because of what theyll lose. Most often thats money.
If you truly believe in something and youre willing to deal with any negative reaction that may result from your stand, controversy can be an excellent way to get publicity, customers and respect.
If you are concerned about offending people, dont want to deal with the reaction to controversy or just dont feel the need to enter or start a controversy, this clearly isnt the way for you to go.
Controversy is risky, but it can have huge benefits. Do you use it or not?
Thats got to be your decision.
This reminds me of one of my favorite sayings When you live in fear you die a thousand deaths. When you live in confidence, you die just one.
Get the most reliable advice on how you can get massive publicity for your business at http://www.hartunian.com