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The Art of Public Relations #2

Barbara's sweet digs
In 2003, Barbara Streisand sued photographer Kenneth Adelman for $50 Million to get him to remove this publicly available photo of her house from a collection of 12,000 photos of California coastline. Unfortunately for her, this lawsuit caused a spark of interest in the photo. Prior to the lawsuit the image has only seen 6 views, 2 of which were from Streisand's lawyers. As soon as information about the lawsuit came to light, more than 420,000 people went to view the image.

Sometimes trying to aggressively hide or remove information from the public eye will make the info more public than it ever would have been. When dealing with the internet, it's wise not to attempt to use hardball tactics to try and make a point. The internet thrives on controversy, so getting riled up tend to feed more backlash and further undermine your position. When Wikileaks was under attack in December 2010, supporters used this as a battlecry to create countless mirrors of Wikileaks so that it would be nigh impossible to truly remove the information.

In a hilarious turn of events, this phenomenon is now called the Streisand Effect.


Trying to be surreptitious is a risky move that, should you be caught, will magnify the negativity surrounding the incident you wish to conceal. Be honest and straightforward in your response to bad PR, then guide the narrative to a better position: "I'm glad you brought up the topic of inequality, let me talk about my new benefits program to help disadvantaged teenage musicians record their first album."

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