We in PR know that bad publicity almost never doubles as good publicity, but exceptions do stand out. Accused/acquitted/accused again murderer Amanda Knox, for example, got $4 million to write a book despite the fact that — according to The Daily Beast, at least — she has “already lost” in the court of public opinion and can never again “control how she is seen.” (And yes, her family did hire a PR firm to manage her image.)
Today brings news that Italy’s top court has ordered a retrial for Knox, who was acquitted and freed after serving nearly four years in prison for the murder of her roommate in Italy (but you already knew that). Our point? This new twist is just icing on the cake for a story that will continue attract millions of eyes around the world.
We’re not too familiar with the details of this case, but we know that Knox is media gold: last month Diane Sawyer scored her first official promo interview and even that announcement was big news. It’s set to air on April 30, the same day the memoir hits shelves — and everyone will be covering it, because the public loves both train wrecks and apology tours (unless they involve Lance Armstrong).
The question: if you have a client like Knox, how do you play off her notoriety while insisting that she was innocent all along?