‘Share-bait’ and metrics don’t build relationships

Is generating controversy for the sake of clicks and ‘likes’ worth the backlash? One chief marketing officer says it absolutely does not.

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In an email to Urban Outfitters employees, CEO Dick Hayne called the last month’s “confusion” over a red-splattered Kent State University sweatshirt an “unfortunate occurrence.” That’s bit like calling one of Mel Gibson’s racist tirades a “regrettable slip-up.” When you repeat the same mistake multiple times, it’s not an unfortunate occurrence. It’s an unfortunate habit. When your brand or PR strategy is to barter integrity for attention, you’re going to disillusion people. They may take the bait, but they don’t forget the jagged hook inside.

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