Any Press is Good Press, Right? For Miley Cyrus It Is

A few weeks back, I watched one of my daughters’ favorite dance teachers, Dana Wilson, dance with Justin Timberlake at the VMA Awards. They were on fire – and my young girls (13 and 11) and I were beyond thrilled to see Dana on stage, doing what she loved.  She would come to their dance studio, The Dance Club, just a few days later to teach their teams two new hip hop numbers. Exciting stuff.

While much of the news focused on Justin Timberlake and his Video Vanguard Award, even more of the publicity seemed to center on Miley Cyrus and whether or not her twerking was appropriate for an audience that contained children (My family turned the show off after watching Dana dance, so fortunately, the eyes of my daughters, who grew up on Hannah Montana, weren’t damaged by the spectacle).

Anyway, while nearly every article written about her performance was negative, she did have defenders intermixed with that negativity. In fact, she must have had enough defenders – likely those that didn’t want to admit it out loud – that the video of her new single, Wrecking Ball, received 19.3 million views on its first day online just a couple weeks later, breaking the record previously held by One Direction for its single “Best Song Ever” (10.7 million views) in July.

Apparently this is just another means of “taking over the world,” which according to an article in Bazaar magazine this week, Miley started trying to do a year ago.

For Miley, it looks like the old saying, “Any press is good press” holds true for her. Her audience is growing older, though, which is what she wants. So again, what many of us would consider a raunchy, game-ending career move appears to have only grown her career.

This might happen in the entertainment business, but it isn’t usually the case in the corporate or financial world.

For example, today is the 5th anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the investment bank that declared bankruptcy in 2006, setting off a global financial crash and dramatically accelerated a recession beginning in December 2007. The moment the bankruptcy hit the news, the stock market reacted violently and within the year had hit a six-year low. While Lehman Brothers was long gone, the more press it got, the more the stock market dropped. And according to an article on today, the situation hasn’t improved much in the United States or the world.

This wasn’t good press for anyone, but it was news, and needed to be reported.

Even further back, in 1989, Exxon had some press of its own after the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling more than 11 million gallons of crude oil. The spill was the largest in U.S. history and has damaged the company’s reputation ever since.

Miley – and many other entertainers – got lucky.

Can you name any other examples of when “any press” was not “good press?”