Quick Guide to Online Review Management

David PR Group Online Review ManagementReview sites are here to stay, so we can’t put our heads in the sand and ignore them anymore. Sites exist to review all manner of businesses, and your business may have reviews that you have never seen – leaving the reputation of your business in the hands of the internet community without any input from the business owner or management.  Review sites have strong authority with search engines, and online reputation management firms which have attempted to suppress review sites with positive content are losing the battle. Many online reputation pros have thrown in the towel and are now recommending engagement to change review site content, rather than trying to push them down in search results.

Claim

Claim or create your company page on the main review sites. Your company may not yet have a listing on a site like Yelp, but any customer or interested party could create one without your knowledge and certainly without your consent. Business owners should look at the main review sites and either claim their page if one has already been created or create their own listing – this will give you a small level of control. If you have a claimed page, then you can enable the tools provided to businesses by review sites, such as notifications of new reviews and the ability to respond to reviews. This is the single most important reason to claim your page, so that you will be notified of new reviews.Read More

Holiday Tips to Protect Your Online Reputation

As we close out the year, many of us will attend office-sponsored holiday parties and fun gatherings with friends and neighbors. Risks for online problems have never been greater as 2018 was marked by a rise in people losing their jobs due to negative social media posts and all manners of online reputation problems.

A few key tips for holiday party season:

More cameras than ever

Each year, it becomes easier for holiday party misdeeds to be captured digitally. The global digital surveillance market is projected to grow by more than 9% per year, and this year Amazon bought video doorbell company Ring for a purported $1 billion. More cameras are coming.  According to Pew Research Center, more than three quarters (77%) of U.S. adults own a smartphone. That means that three out of four folks at your party have a camera – and many are not afraid to use it. So when you are thinking about having that extra glass of wine,imagine that nearly every adult can take your photo in an instant. Be on your best behavior.  And when you are at a gathering with coworkers, don’t complain – about anything.  If you are not having fun, power through it and leave early.  Don’t over-imbibe,over-stay or over-talk because bad behavior can be memorialized online. Have a good time but as I tell my college-aged daughter: “Don’t do shots.”Read More

Can You Really Submit an Op-Ed Anonymously?

Can you really submit an anonymous op-ed?Events of last week struck me regarding the concept of anonymity these days.  Like everyone else, I’m curious to learn the author of the now infamous New York Times anonymous op-ed. (Analysis from Slate and the BBC is fun to read.) I will let others jump into the mud pit to wrestle over whether the author is a patriot or a coward. I’m interested in how one actually remains anonymous in the digital age.

Word is that the op-ed author approached the Times through an intermediary, and his/her identity was confirmed by the paper.  If you or I wanted to get sensitive or confidential information to an outlet like the Times, could we do it and remain anonymous?

You can go right to the media outlets for answers. The Times, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Forbes, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and USA Today, among others, offer ways to send a confidential news tip.  SecureDrop and old-fashioned postal mail are the most common, but here are a few options:Read More

No Reputation is a Bad Reputation

no reputation is a bad reputation David PRSome businesses do well operating “under the radar.”  During my career I have met many executives who have purposely kept a low profile, avoiding publicity as they focus intently on their business and their market.  The strategy sometimes makes sense when companies face large logistical and operational challenges that supersede public relations and marketing.  Some executives also shy away from PR because they don’t want to draw the attention of potential competitors.

My experience is that this only works up to a point.

In recent weeks, I have encountered several companies that are facing significant online issues.  One is a a great company that took flying beneath the radar to new extremes.  The company has thousands of employees and multiple offices, appears to be very successful and yet has almost no online presence.Read More

PR Lessons from 2017

The past 12 months have been fascinating in the world of public relations. We have a president who communicates off-the-cuff each morning to his more than 45 million Twitter followers, and for the first time in at least eight years, most of us can name the White House Press Secretary. Communications from the White House has never been more high profile. We also learned this year that no amount of PR wizardry or spin control can save executives, even at the highest levels, who are guilty of sexual misconduct. Here are a few main PR lessons from 2017, when perception and reputation ruled the day.

Words Matter

Each day, major news networks focus part of their daily coverage on what President Trump tweeted that morning. Whether you agree or disagree with him, he is showing that he can control part of the news cycle and that words still matter. Trump’s tweets have a huge impact on how he is perceived. His word choices and tone are interpreted by both his supporters and detractors, and he often makes mistakes that cost him on the perception front. He recently “called-back” a tweet, claiming it was instead written by his lawyer. Again, it doesn’t matter what side you are on, but even in this age where visuals and short videos dominate, words still matter.Read More

Online Review Sites: The New Normal

Online Review Sites David PRThe value proposition for online review sites is simple as they enables almost anyone to offer a public review and rating of a business. A review site allows users to give both good and bad reviews of businesses – and gives consumers the opportunity to make an informed purchase decision. This new reality can be a challenge for businesses, however.

Here are some general recommendations when it comes to online reviews:Read More

Improve Crisis Messaging through Deeper Social Media Analysis

david pr twitter during crisisDespite incredible advances in technology, the development of messaging during a crisis still feels like it is done on the fly.  We look at our key audiences (such as customers, employees or the general public) and then try to put ourselves in their shoes.  What do they want to hear from our company during this crisis?  What do we surmise they are thinking about us?  We put on our mind-reading helmets to attempt to sympathize and empathize because that’s how we were trained.  Researchers at the University of Missouri just completed a study which suggests that there might be a better mousetrap.  And, yes, it has to do with social media and how your reputation is determined online.

Doctoral students Doug Wilbur and Dani Myers analyzed Twitter responses to a crisis and found that seemingly unorganized or semi-organized groups may actually develop organized positions toward a company in crisis.  I know that sounds a bit odd and far-too-academic for my usual blog post, but here comes the example that tells the tale.

Wilbur and Myers looked at the NFL’s concussion issue, and then gauged the impact of last year’s movie “Concussion” starring Will Smith.  They knew the movie would generate reactions from multiple audiences, and they decided to measure and analyze those reactions on Twitter.Read More

How You Can Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO

David PR Think Like an EntrepreneurAs I read more business books and meet more authors, I find it interesting that many have started out writing blogs or newsletter articles which, over time, gained steam and led to eventual published works. Author Beverly Jones successfully leveraged her career-advice-filled blog and newsletter, turning it into a great book called Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO. It includes 50 tips on how to stay afloat, bounce back and get ahead at work.Read More

Communications Strategy 101: Get your GAME on

Communications Strategy from David PR GroupOne thing that I often hear from executives is that they want to improve their corporate communications, marketing and public relations, but they don’t know where to start. Perhaps the conversation begins with an executive saying they want a presence on social media, or they want to blog, or they just want to “get their name out there.” How do you do it? How do you develop a communications strategy?

The answer: Get your GAME on.

While developing a complete communications strategy takes research and in-depth planning, one can make the first moves fairly easily and can quickly point the ship in the right direction. This process, which can take a few hours for a cursory approach or several weeks for a deep dive, focuses on four areas: Goals, Audiences, Messaging (and tactics) and Evaluation. “GAME,” get it? (Don’t feel the need to be snarky about the “T” in “tactics.” It’s my process, so I’m calling it “GAME.”)Read More

Preeminent Book on Marketing and PR Gets an Update

David PR Group PR and Marketing book gets an updateIf I’m being honest, I have never had much use for books about public relations.  When I was studying marketing and PR in college, much of the information in textbooks was dated and offered in a rote, dull manner.  As time passed and new books were written, few could capture what I was experiencing firsthand as a professional PR guy, particularly as the industry had shifted dramatically in recent years.

Yet there’s one book which caught and kept my attention; it also happens to have been recently released in its fifth edition.  The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott, first published in 2007, remains one of the top books about the industry.

When offered an opportunity to speak with Scott about his book, I jumped at it for a number of reasons.  As I mentioned, I think his book is the preeminent authority on PR out there. But he’s also a pioneer of “newsjacking.”Read More