Professional lobbyists and PR officers speak regretfully and wistfully of the days when success depended on speaking quietly and persuasively to influential politicians and other power-brokers. These days the actions of global companies
are subject to scrutiny by the wider public and PR work has become much harder, all thanks to social media, internet activism and what has been described as 'citizen journalism'. Petitions can be started, spread and gain millions of signatures in a matter of hours, messages go viral and global in less than a day. Trying to control major bad publicity must at times feel a little like trying to fix a leaky dam by sticking your finger over the the hole, only to watch as the pressure of the water opens more holes all around your hand. Before we start to feel too sorry for the professionals trying to stem the tides of bad publicity, let's remember that they have budgets almost beyond comprehension, and anyway, is it wrong that companies that have global influence should be subject to world-wide scrutiny? We think not!
How Do You Counter Bad Publicity?
With budgets that run to big numbers and lots of zeros, what do the very biggest of companies do when faced with bad publicity? Well, oddly enough they do pretty much the same things that Local Fame
does for its rather more humble clients. Bad publicity is countered with good, things like blog posts, press reports, social media interaction. On occasions they even go so far as to doctor Wikipedia entries (that's something we don't do!). Even with all the resources at the disposal of global concerns, their success at countering or suppressing bad publicity can be mixed. Whilst writing this blog I checked out one major global player (I won't tell you which one!). Even by following links at the bottom of the first page of Google results I could find things that the company concerned most likely would have preferred I didn't. By the time I got to the top of page two things were getting very interesting indeed. Around about now you may be asking yourself:
Do You Want Someone to Influence Google on Your Behalf?
Do you want to use techniques that are used by companies you may personally despise? Well, we'd say don't confuse the tools with the use they're put to. Portraying yourself and your firm in it's best light is perfectly valid. There may come a time when you're subjected to an unfair attack. Or an instance when a vindictive client seizes an honest error that you've tried to correct, and uses it to attempt to destroy you. We hope it never happens, but if it does, we can help.
Does Reputation Management Actually Work?
Another valid question given that I didn't need to dig very deep to find bad publicity for one of the biggest companies in the world. You could wonder what we'd find on the internet about them if they didn't spend millions trying to show their good side! These are companies with very sophisticated public relations departments so it's fair to assume that the tools they use are the best available. If you provide a service that's consistently shoddy, or act with absolute arrogance and total disrespect for the people or environment around you then some of that truth is going to leak out. If on the other hand, you strive to provide a service that gives good and honest value and want to protect yourself against unfair competitors or sheer nastiness then Local Fame
's answer would be yes, reputation management
works. If you need some help with your internet presence, give as a call
and find out more.