Make your mobile phone valueless 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

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

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

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


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

Uh-Oh, Girl Scouts Changed Thin Mints

Now Vegan jpg David PR GroupIt’s Girl Scout cookie season, and I know this because there are 17 cases of the tasty treats in my living room. This annual resolution buster, happily nestled between Christmas and Easter, marks the biggest annual fundraiser for Girl Scouts, and cookie selling remains an iconic rite of passage for young girls (and their moms) throughout the United States. My daughter began selling the cookies seven years ago, and I have helped sell them at my office, loaded the car for booth sales throughout our neighborhood, and wolfed down more than my share of Tagalongs, Samoas, and Do-si-dos. (You can keep the lemon ones and the logo-emblazoned butter cookies.) But of course, the star of the Girl Scout cookie universe is the chocolate-covered, peppermint-flavored wafer known as the Thin Mint. This year, though, there is something rotten in the state of baking sheets: Thin Mints have gone vegan!Read More

What if The Interview Sucks?

the-interview-seth-rogen-james-francoHonestly, my first reaction to hearing the news that Sony was cancelling the release of its movie The Interview because of threats from North Korean hackers and blowback from theater chains was this: North Korea, you need to lighten up. Have you seen Seth Rogen and James Franco? Have you seen their movies? Do you really think they could be a danger to the North Korean military? One only needs to watch Pineapple Express to see that this is not a credible threat – unless you are worried about them stealing your weed.Read More

Strengthen Your Marketing Channels in 2015

ic top shelfA consequence and perk of being a blogger is that you often get solicited by public relations and marketing people. Because my blog is  written about whatever I feel like writing about, I try to respectfully decline invitations and story pitches. This week, though, I was invited to a marketing event that I just couldn’t turn down. It involved a major liquor company and the sampling of specialty cocktails, kind of like a wine tasting but with hard stuff. I was in.

The event was sponsored by Intercontinental Hotels and Bacardi, and the publicized goal was to choose a signature specialty cocktail that will be showcased in the hotels next year. It was held at Bacardi headquarters, not far from my office.Read More

Apple CEO Takes Page From LeBron’s Playbook

apple outTim Cook “Comes Out” with Authentic Communication Delivered Directly

When I read Tim Cook’s bylined piece in Bloomberg BusinessWeek this morning, I was more interested in the “how” rather than the “what” or even the “why” of this story.

Cook took a page directly from the playbook popularized this summer by LeBron James – author an authentic, genuine message and deliver it as directly and cleanly as possible to your audience.Read More