The Streisand Effect: What’s Your School District Reputation Worth?

There’s a saying in the world of public relations with which you’re likely familiar:

“No publicity is bad publicity.”

Of course, the meaning of this pithy statement is that no bad publicity will ultimately harm an organization. Any public recognition is irreversibly good and will prove to be beneficial in the long run. The logic behind this claim makes some sense if you consider that one of the greatest struggles for rising companies is marketplace awareness.

Although the truth of this statement is debatable for businesses, it is most certainly untrue for K-12 schools and districts. More often than not, the largest and brightest spotlights are reserved for the most controversial and scandalous issues. And these stories rarely produce promising returns, but rather can result in a loss of funding, a loss of jobs as well as a loss of trust from parents, school board members and the general public.

Unfortunately, negative press garners more attention from the public, and this revelation has revolutionized how media outlets prioritize their content.

For instance, the following stories were the result of “hacked” school and district websites: 

The question of how schools and districts can best respond to the negative press is difficult to answer, due to what is known as the “Streisand Effect.” “The Streisand Effect,” according to its Wikipedia entry, “is a phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely.” The origins of the term date back to 2003, when Barbra Streisand attempted to suppress photographs of her residence in Malibu, California and inadvertently drew far more public attention as a result.

When it comes to the public reputation of your school and district, proactive measures are always better than responsive measures. Responsive measures, as the Streisand Effect has demonstrated, have a tendency to exacerbate reputation issues. There’s value in discovering and implementing proactive measures by which you can increase control over your public image and reputation most effectively.

The Streisand Effect: What’s Your School District Reputation Worth? Click To Tweet