PR company founder: 'You have to remember Rolling Stone is a business'

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July 18, 2013, 9:46 am
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(NECN) - There's a growing list of stores that have decided to not carry the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, which is set to hit stands Friday. The cover story focuses on surviving Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The magazine's editors have come under fire for the decision and released this statement reading in part:

"Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and rolling stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens."

Diane McNamara is the founder of "Fire it Up, PR", and she’s here with her reaction.

She says the cover was unfortunate but it was a very calculated and intentional photo that they used for the cover. McNamara says she has to assume they knew they would encounter this backlash.

Is there such a thing as bad PR?

She says it depends on your perspective.

“You have to remember this is a business and they need to sell magazines, and regardless of whether half a dozen or a dozen outlets are not selling the magazine, it will sell, but even more importantly, it will drive people to the website…I believe that where they made the mistake is they didn’t think about the advertisers and how the advertisers would react. They just thought in terms of attention, driving people to buy the magazine and also to the website and they didn’t think about how the advertisers are going to be portrayed. You’re a reflection of the company you keep.”

McNamara also says she doubts they had a lot of high resolution pictures of Tsarnaev to choose from, which would be required for print.

Watch the attached video for more on this controversial cover.

Tags: Boston, Rolling Stone magazine, bombing suspect, diane mcnamara, fire it up pr, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, rolling stone
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