5 Reasons to Start a CEO Blog

5 reasons to Start a CEO BlogPublish or perish!  We hear about it in the context of academia all the time.  In order for would-be professors to be considered for tenured positions, they need to regularly showcase their brilliance through publishing relevant scholarly works.  I would argue that CEOs should follow the same advice though they need not regularly publish doctoral-thesis-worthy communications but rather compelling blog content which can advance their business and personal interests.  Below are five reasons why companies should embrace the CEO blog:

Puts a face to your organization.  A CEO is almost always the best single human asset that a company has, particularly start-ups and smaller companies.  Yet many businesses hide their top asset behind a marketing curtain.  A short website bio, usually without contact information, makes most CEOs appear inaccessible.  If your goal is to be a customer-facing and customer-focused organization, a CEO blog can create a public face for a company.  Showcasing your company’s personality can go a long way to defining your values.Read More

Can Your Reputation Withstand Increased Surveillance?

Vatican_Pope_06523CCTV_CamerasSitting in a restaurant with a friend recently, I asked a simple question: How many cameras are in this place? He looked up and immediately pointed out several hemispherical domes in the ceiling, scattered around the restaurant. He identified the surveillance cameras and confidently guessed “about 10″ — but he had fallen right into my trap. What about the cell phone cameras, I asked? He frowned as we upped the count to likely north of 50, when considering the camera-phone-bearing customers and employees. At that moment, if a customer were to try to sneak off with a pastry, steal someone’s wallet or go on an epic rant about the price of an extra scoop of guacamole, there were dozens of people at the ready to document it. Any misstep could turn into an online reputation issue within moments. And this is true not just at a Panera Bread in Florida but nearly every restaurant and retail store in the United States. Whether we like it or not, we are being watched.

200 Million Camera Phones
According to analysts, there will be more than 200 million camera phones in the United States by 2017. (The U.S. population is around 320 million, by the way.) We have about 50 million surveillance cameras in America, and that number is likely growing at a rapid clip as the prices for such devices fall, and they become easy to monitor with web-based technology.Read More

Make your mobile phone valueless

davidpr.com online reputation securitySince I started helping people with online reputation issues, I have heard some amazing tales but few as educational as this one.  A lady called me up with an awful problem.  Her phone had been stolen from her locker at her job and now, yes you may have already guessed it, inappropriate pictures of her were now on the Internet.  She made three mistakes, all preventable.  Yet, the main lesson is that we all need to make our mobile phones valueless.

First, what the girl did wrong.  Taking naked pictures of oneself — duh!  This one confounds me but just continues-on in our society.  We need to teach our sons and daughters not to do this, and also teach them not to ask it of other people.  In addition, this young lady failed herself in two other technical categories.  She didn’t enable the passcode feature on her phone, and she didn’t set up the Find My iPhone/remote data-erasing features.  In her case, three strikes equaled revenge porn.

Sadly, we can buy purchase protection to replace a lost or stolen phone, but no such insurance exists for a damaged reputation.

On to my main point, if you truly want to protect yourself from the many perils of a lost or stolen phone, you need to have everything of value backed up, preferably automatically.  If you lose possession of your phone, the physical value of your phone should be the only concern you have.   Here’s how you do it, and the cloud service providers are going to love me.Read More

3 Pieces of Advice From an Online Reputation Fixer

Originally published on PRDaily.com

For the past two years, I have been building a segment of my business around helping people with online problems.

Striving to get negative content removed from search on behalf of my clients has been, without question, one of the most interesting things I have done in my 25-year career in public relations.

I gained interest in the practice due to a number of factors. Part of it was directly related to hearing an increasing number of online horror stories, and the other part of it has to do with my sometimes overly righteous personality. I have strong opinions about what is fair and what is unfair in life, and the Internet can be incredibly unfair. It enables people to say almost anything they want. The door to the online world is wide open for crazy people, mean people and folks with an axe to grind.

As I develop my own reputation as something on an online reputation fixer, I have learned that a huge number of folks have issues with our digital world. The Internet plays a major role in how we are perceived, and many of the challenges facing PR professionals today have to do with online issues. Quickly and steadily, the two worlds are starting to collide.Read More

How to Determine a Law Firm Marketing Budget

Originally published on our subsidiary site LawsuitPressRelease.com.

Clients often ask us how much they should spend on marketing their law firm each year. It is a simple fact that marketing is going to cost money. However, it’s how you spend your money that makes a difference. You want to create a law firm marketing budget that matches your goals.

The American Lawyer reports that the AM Law 200 firms spend about 2 percent of gross revenues on marketing related expenses. And that number is actually low. Law firm management consultancies have long held that law firms (except for personal injury firms, who must spend more) should plan on spending about 2 to 5 percent of gross revenues on their marketing efforts.Read More

The Business of Online Complaint Sites

Two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.” – Annie Hall (1977)

Turns out that complaining has become big business, particularly online. Back when Woody Allen made Annie Hall, we only had a few ways to complain about products, retailers, or customer service. We could call a company’s customer service department, ask to speak to the manager at a store, or, if we were really upset, write a letter (yeah, on paper) to the president of a company.

Today, making a complaint can be done in a matter of clicks and even before we leave a retail establishment, restaurant, or hotel. We can contact a company directly through its website or via e-mail, send a tweet to that same company’s president, or post a complaint on a consumer complaint website.DavidPR.com Online Complaints

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for good customer service and accountability in business. The ability to communicate more directly with companies about their products and services certainly keeps businesses on their toes. However, it has also made consumer complaint websites very powerful, opening the door for misinformation, competitor bashing, and unreasonable complaints.

Sites such as Ripoff Report, Complaints.com, Complaintsboard.com, Scam.com, and TheDirty.com have learned that complaints and negative posts can track high on search results. The concept is a game changer that turns complaints into money-making machines:Read More

Attention Graduates: You Will Be Googled

David PR Grads will be googledDavid Geffen lied on his first job application. I recently watched Inventing David Geffen, a documentary that details the life of the billionaire entertainment mogul who has many legendary accomplishments, including putting the Eagles and Jackson Browne on vinyl, Cats and Dreamgirls on Broadway, and Risky Business and Interview with the Vampire on movie screens. One of the many anecdotes Geffen shares is about his first job at the William Morris Agency in New York. He lied on his application for a mail-room position at the talent agency, stating that he had graduated from UCLA. The agency hired him and put him to work, but they checked his credentials with UCLA via old-fashioned postal mail. After learning that a fellow employee was fired for lying on his application, Geffen sorted every piece of mail coming into William Morris. When the incriminating letter from UCLA arrived, he steamed it opened and altered its contents. The rest is blockbuster history.

Today’s recent college graduates can’t use the same solution as Geffen. Employers may instantly check credentials by using Google searches, and they’re looking for a lot more than proof of matriculation.Read More

Crisis Management Begins Online

Crisis Management Begins OnlineA friend called me recently in a bit of a panic. One of her college-aged children was tangentially involved with a crisis at her university, and my friend and some of the other parents were wondering if it would be beneficial to engage a public relations expert. Should they reach out to the media or not? How might their kids be perceived? They had many questions.

Before we dug into the details of the incident, I told my friend that the very first thing that needed to be done was to ensure that the students did not say anything about the incident that might end up online. I cautioned: Don’t post anything about it on Facebook, don’t tweet about it, and absolutely do not speak to anyone from the media. I told her that the most important thing was to guarantee that her child’s name was in no way associated online with this situation. She needed to keep her kid’s name shielded from this crisis, so the student would not be associated with it in any way – pro, con, or indifferent.

We are in a whole new world of public relations crisis management because the Internet is now king.Read More

Managing Corporate Online Hate

ManageOnlineBrandHate

While I’m certain she wasn’t pondering online reputation management, Taylor Swift had it right when she sang “the haters gonna hate, hate, hate” in her hit single “Shake it Off.” Online hate remains a major problem in business today, and sadly, we can’t always just take the pop starlet’s advice and roll with it.

Hate blogs and hate websites can pop up overnight, and if written by clever authors, can quickly rise to the top of search results. Reputational and economic damage frequently follow.

When confronted with negative online content that hinders your business or damages your organization’s reputation, the best advice is to remain calm and make a sound assessment. While the first reaction may be to blast away at the hate blog, defamatory post, negative news article or nasty review, we have found that it makes more sense to slow down and develop a strategy before confronting the source—assuming you can figure out who posted the negative information in the first place.Read More

Being “Off the Grid” May Damage Your Online Reputation

In the past year, I’ve become increasingly interested in the world of online reputation management and helping executives and other professionals to counteract negative articles, blog posts, and other troubling web content. A couple of things have caught my attention. The first is that almost everyone I speak with has a story (often a horror story) about how a friend or colleague felt victimized by negative online content. Negative reviews impacted business, social media missteps hurt an applicant’s chances of getting a job, and online stories (true or otherwise) injured people personally and professionally. The prevalence of this has surprised me.

The second thing that caught my attention was the fact that so many professional people have no control of their online reputation—on purpose.Read More