Martha Stewart Prison And The Power Of Public Relations By Ronn Torossian

Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations”.

“You think I’m not aware that I’m living the first line of my obituary right now?” – C. J. Cregg White House Press Secretary on the West Wing

Who would have thought only a few years ago that the first line of Martha Stewart’s obituary wouldn’t have included her status as a convicted felon? While her obituary hasn’t yet been written, it’s simply amazing that J.C. Penney is buying a minority stake in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. for $38.5 today, as well as the fact that very few stories even mention the fact that Stewart is a convicted felon. What a Public Relations coup and victory for Stewart, who was convicted of lying to investigators about a stock sale, and served five months in a federal prison.


Having represented many high-profile figures convicted of (and accused of) crimes, I wasn’t surprised a few years ago when the media speculated that her jail situation would result in the end of her media empire. Wow does America love compelling comeback stories – her high-profile, well orchestrated comeback campaign had her returning to profitability the following year.

Stewart has told a great story the last few years, and has done an amazing job in communicating to her consumer. Stewart realized and continues to realize that there are two courts in any crisis – first, the court of law, and second, the court of public opinion. While she was found guilty in the court of law, her public (her core consumer) wasn’t upset with her, and her crime wasn’t seen as harming anyone (something in today’s 99%/1% environment which would be much harder to achieve).

Stewart was very public in her comeback; be it from her direct re-engagement with Martha Stewart Living to creation of furnishings. She even created her own Apprentice-type show with Mark Burnett. Stewart, the quintessential American successful woman launched a home handbook, and kept contributing to The Today Show. She’s appeared in commercials for Macy’s, has her own Sirius satellite radio show and has just continued to go and go and go without stopping, despite her temporary setback.

Martha Stewart today deserves congratulations for the sale and a place in the Crisis PR hall-of-fame for her victory in overcoming in the publics’ eye her felony conviction.

Article Source:

About Author:

Ronn Torossian is a public relations executive and entrepreneur. Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, 1 of the 25 largest PR agencies in the US, and author of “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations” an Amazon best selling Public Relations bookAuthor: Ronn T