Home I am PR Fixing reputations online: new business

Fixing reputations online: new business

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Business Report magazine published interesting article about a new field of business that dozens of companies are already working in. They specialize in fixing the "online reputation" of their clients, both firms and individuals. The task is simple: to make sure that the search query [Name_Family] shows only good information about the client. This is a really difficult task. First, you need to remove from the first lines of results any negative facts about your client. If these facts are on Wikipedia or other authoritative resource, you need to work with him directly to correct the information. Second, you need to add positive information about the client online (perhaps on a separate site or blog) and promote it using search engine optimization techniques, so that this resource appears first among the search results.
It’s a reality fix, a digital form of publicity. The business that image makers have long been doing in real life is getting its continuation online. New generation firms prefer to call it "reputation management."
The article gives a number of examples of how the reputations of authority figures have been irreparably damaged because of a single insignificant fact. For example, a famous Chicago lawyer tipped too low in a restaurant, and the bartender wrote about it on his personal blog. And now all of that lawyer’s clients come across this fact when searching on Google. What’s more, even the local newspaper wrote about it. Saving twenty dollars on tips has already cost the lawyer many thousands in lost profits.
ReputationHawk is one of the companies that fixes digital reputations. This activity is at the intersection of PR and SEO. The main part of the work consists of mopping up negative content or downgrading it in search results.
A typical client is a firm that has been compromised on the Internet. The source of the problems may be a former employee of the firm or a competitor. To combat this, the ReputationHawk staff runs a powerful stream of positive and truthful content about the affected firm. Usually about 15 positive articles and press releases need to be published (this part belongs to PR), and then search engine optimization begins. Positive content in search results begins to put pressure on the negative information, and it gradually decreases and disappears from the first page altogether. The whole process is divided into an aggressive phase and a support phase.
The names of most clients are kept a closely guarded secret. It is very important that the public not know what content is normal and what content is generated by the reputation management process. During the aggressive phase, ReputationHawk costs between $1200 and $2000 per month, and about $500 per month during the support phase.

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