This article links institutional and impression management perspectives in a process model of how controversial and possibly unlawful actions of members of organizations can lead to endorsement and support from key constituencies. This model is grounded in interview, archival, and observational data concerning eight illegitimate actions attributed to members of two social movement organizations. We found that institutional conformity and decoupling illegitimate activities from legitimate structures facilitated spokespersons’ efforts to use impression management tactics that shifted attention away from the controversial actions and toward the socially desirable goals endorsed by broader constituencies. As a result, these organizations used publicity generated by illegitimate actions to obtain endorsement and support from those constituencies. We discuss the implications of the model for other kinds of organizations and derive testable propositions. We also consider implications for institutional and impression management theories.