Q&A: Is it a good idea to create controversy to attract customers to your business?

Should you create controversy for your business to attract new clients? This is a question I got asked at a conference I spoke at recently.

“Negative PR captured the attention of people on the internet more than positive PR. So, is it a good idea to create controversy around your business just to attract the attention of future customers?”

Can’t see the video? Watch it over on youtube.

Though they say controversy sells, here are some points before you go all-out reverse-pr-ninja-ing all over the net.

  • You are going to be associating yourself with something negative and that’s never an ideal situation
  • You could alienate current and potential future clients
  • You could become known as a risky guy to do business with rather than a great guy to do business with

You could also

  • use it as a way of changing tack and burning bridges

It’s your business, your reputation, you can do anything you like with either of them, but don’t bring other people down with you!

Alternatively, if you want to draw attention to yourself online make it really positive, make it really impactful because you can get the momentum going by doing something amazing.

When you are in business you have to be prepared to take risks. I dread to think about what would the world be like if we all played it safe.

Some people thrive on controversy. It’s in their nature!If we are in business and doing our own things it’s really important to be yourself; doing our own thing and being ourselves in business gives us that freedom!

Though there’s a difference between being yourself and manufacturing a situation that doesn’t come naturally. Weight up the risks.

  • What are the pros and cons?
  • How will you feel?
  • How will your clients feel?
  • What have you got to lose?

As our businesses grow and as we learn and change over time there’s always going to be times to play it safe. There will also be times to say ‘Sod it!’, and those times can be very liberating and give awesome personal & business results.

Have you ever used controversy to promote your business? Do you think it’s best to play it safe?

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This article has 2 comments

  1. The only controversial things I post on my blog are ones that cause arguments about grammar and word use: although the comments can get quite heated, I always try to remain neutral to positive (i.e. surprised rather than annoyed at how “decimated” is permitted to be used these days!). Good post with a lot to think about!

  2. Hi Liz!

    It’s surprising how ‘high-risk’ grammar can be as a point of discussion. Just think about the amount of fall-outs from misplaced apostrophes cause! 🙂

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