All This Miley Cyrus Business

You all know by now the MTV Music Awards debacle. I was shocked when the only news that CNN could cover was this. Again, the debate between what Americans ‘need to know’ versus what they ‘want to know’ comes into play here. I found an article that brings to light some of the controversy.

From All Media Coverage of Miley Doesn’t Work: Good quote: “Blame for Americans being more interested in the Kardashians than in current events should be spread around. It’s not just the people who may criticize the media in one breath while they click on the latest celebrity gossip.”

During my media relations class, we started watching Nightline with Ted Koppel regarding the genocide in the Congo way back in the day. The first airing date was the day before 9-11. It was supposed to be a two part series. One of the first statements he makes in his report was: “It is time to tell Americans what the NEED to know, not what the WANT to know.” Our class only viewed the first part to this series, because the second did not air.

Koppel’s statement still rings true. What Americans want to know, what they choose to read online, what they click on to view the latest headline, drives what is aired and shown by TV and online media outlets. A lot of ‘real-life’ stories get pushed under the rug. And I know I am not the first to write about it.

I have no doubt the persons hired to choreograph the MTV awards, and/or that had persuasion of how the show should go, knew what they were doing. They understand the social media craze that would follow, and knew the ratings for the show would increase and the media hits would generate more awareness from all over the world. Am I giving them too much credit?

I pose a couple questions:

1. In order to create awareness for our product/person/program/etc, do we really need to use blatant tactics? Do we need to be liberal in our actions to get people to notice us?

2. What can PR people do to create a buzz without crossing the lines of morality and good sense? Is there hope for good, upstanding PR?

You have heard the adage “Any PR is good PR.” No doubt this example is a demonstration of how this could be true. It is sad that what some may have thought distasteful is one of the most talked about occasions in the media this week.

3. As a society can we just let bad PR stop so it doesn’t become a trend?