Woman Humiliated by Ellen Loses Explosive Business Publicity

There’s an old saying that “All press is good press.” The implication is that even bad press can be turned into business publicity.

Obviously, not all press is good press. If your mugshot shows up on the nightly news, it’s going to be next to impossible to spin that to your advantage.

But there are mild forms of “bad” press that can be easily leveraged — if you’re creative enough to do so.

Why do I even bring this up? Because a Georgia woman named Titi Pierce has filed a lawsuit for something Ellen said on her show. Here’s the “offensive” part of the video segment…

Pierce is seeking damages for harassment and emotional distress. According to the NY Daily News:

She claims DeGeneres invaded her privacy by airing her name and phone number, as well as intentionally inflicted emotional distress.

Pierce is seeking unspecified monetary damages and is asking for the episode in question to no longer be allowed on air.

“She’s a real person with real feelings,” her attorney Stacy Godfrey Evans told the Miami Herald. “She is a private, proud person, and she was humiliated on national television not once, but twice.”

I don’t know, if you watch the clip it doesn’t seem like Ellen was going out of her way to mock or humiliate Pierce. It was a pretty tame joke.

But that’s beside the point. If Pierce really wanted to make some money off this, she shouldn’t have paid a lawyer to file a lawsuit… she should have leveraged the unexpected publicity to get even more publicity!

Can you imagine? Being featured on the Ellen show in almost any capacity is like getting a winning lottery ticket.

If I was in Pierce’s shoes, I would have immediately written a press release and sent it around to all the local news stations in Georgia talking about how Ellen mispronounced her name on the show. Local news stations LOVE stuff like that.

Then you could go on all these different shows (where you’re directly in front of your target audience) and talk about how it was a funny joke, and that you laughed too, but that your name is really pronounced TEE-TEE Pierce.

And then you get to plug how you’re a realtor with Coldwell Banker and you help people buy or sell homes in the Atlanta Metro area, etc.

Even better, you could start saying “As Featured on The Ellen Show” in your advertising and marketing. And if it was me, I’d just do it and ask forgiveness later if necessary.

Basically, with a one-page press release and a little bit of effort, Titi Pierce could have been swamped with new clients who wanted to sell or buy a home — no lawyers necessary!

Maybe 50 or 60 years ago, every American would have used her creativity to “make lemonade out of lemons,” but today we live in an overly litigious society where millions of people somehow feel entitled to money for the rather mundane experience of feeling bad about yourself.

Why use your creativity when you can call 1-800-LAWSUIT and hire a bloodsucking lawyer to extort money from a rich and successful person? In other words, why EARN your money when you can FORCE other people to give it to you?

After all, that is now the American way.

Luckily, my readers (that includes YOU) still believe in creativity and hard work. And if you are ever featured on The Ellen Show because of your unusual name or something else, you’ll know how to leverage it for both fame and fortune.

-Ryan M. Healy

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Ryan Healy

Ryan Healy is a freelance copywriter, list manager, and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like WordStream.com, SmallBizClub.com, and MarketingForSuccess.com.

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