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As a Los Angeles digital marketing company, we at Pink Shark Marketing are perhaps more readily influenced by celebrity culture than a company in, say, North Carolina. But there was a nationally trending news story in the wake of the Golden Globes that I thought might be instructive for some digital marketers and their clients.

During the proceedings, host Sandra Oh made a joke about whitewashing in Hollywood films, comparing “Crazy Rich Asians” to the inexplicably Caucasian-helmed “Ghost in the Shell” and “Aloha”. Emma Stone, the star of the latter, spontaneously responded from the crowd by shouting out “I’m sorry!”

Notably, the internet seems to have mostly eaten this story up, with some Asian-American commentators tweeting out their forgiveness. In that, I think, there is a lesson about the value of contrition. And on a deeper level, there is a lesson about assessing the seriousness of various controversies, and managing the response accordingly.

Where it concerns public relations in the image-obsessed environment of Hollywood, I’d say this too is something for which a Los Angeles digital marketing company should have a particularly good eye. And such a company should recognize how a scandal can be made worse by responding either too reflexively or too late, either too casually or too strongly.

At a time when everyone is on tenterhooks over social media outrage, the ability to navigate among those responses is a quality that many businesses and public personas should probably look for in a Los Angeles digital marketing company.

Reputation management is big business, but it is the business of managing fallout. With effective public relations and marketing, you increase your odds of preventing the explosion that produces that fallout in the first place. But it requires the expertise of professionals who know when it’s best to just shout out a good-natured apology, accept the forgiveness of your target audience, and be done with it.

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