Think back to 1940’s. Television came out at the World’s Fair in 1939, radio was popular but the world of mass communication was only just starting up. Things were still pretty slow compared to today.
Today, news travels fast. Anthony Weiner can Tweet something on Friday at 8:00pm and by 9:00pm it can be on the main stream news and by 8:11 on the front pages of the Drudge Report).
If someone writes something “bad” about your business the ramifications of the online communication can last a long time and have lasting damage. Every time someone Bing’s or Google’s your business name – that “bad” thing will crop up.
What to do:
1. Do everything you can to NOT have bad communication written about your business. I’m not referring to the “errant” negative comment, but I mean a fire storm of bad publicity because a low level (or high level) bone head in the company didn’t do the right ting.
2. Ensure you are proactively engaging with customers and if a negative comment comes out – ensure you smother it with positive customer and other user generated comments.
3. Hire a firm to do their best to purge the Internet. It’s not easy and is expensive writes the New York Times:
“I used to say until about two to three years ago that there are a lot of things you can do to solve these problems yourself,” Mr. Fertik said. “I stopped saying that. It’s become so technically complicated to solve this.”
Technology companies are not the only resource for cleaning up a reputation. Security and investigative firms can also help.
Christopher Falkenberg, president of Insite Security, said his firm had resorted to face-to-face meetings with people who posted damaging information as well as the search engine companies that linked to it.
Sometimes, of course, the damaging information is true, or the site refuses to remove the information. Then, firms like Reputation.com and security consultants resort to burying the information as best they can. “You hope people won’t go to the third or fourth page,” Mr. Falkenberg said.