We had just read what first appeared to be almost a comical release a few days ago. We have been doing online reputation management for companies for years, but it was really never opened to individuals (though individuals have hired us prior for this service)..
Considering we have one of the most extensive histories revolving around that industry we figured we would weigh in on this.
The honest problem is that much of the time.. (we are not saying ALL the time, we are stating MUCH of the time) the target actually deserves the negative press. Did that guy really leave a $3 dollar tip for a $200 dollar bill? The answer is technically yes. However the individual did try to fix the issue.
The problem is that the genie was out of the bottle.. and the blogs and forums went wild. Littering Google with his name and his $3 dollar tip. We read some of the forums.. Colorful terms were used to describe his small tip.
There is an old saying that says ‘bad news travels fast” … well in this case bad news went literally at 186,000 miles per second.. as it was being zapped from one forum to another with his name.. all of them ranking in Google.
Hence the problem.
In order to rectify the situation for our clients that hire us for online reputation management, we generally have to really push hard positive press… and in some instances we had to convince our clients to do something that would generate positive press.
We had to send online press releases, we had to post it on blogs that we have a say on…we had to post it in forums that we have a say on… and last but not least we had to go out manually contacting journalists to write a story regarding the positive news to publish online.
Then we had to promote those journalists stories the same way we promoted the press releases… you get the point.
There are 10 results in Google…Google tends to filter duplicate stories… this means that this sometimes had to happen 10-20 times in order to help the companies reputation… it’s a lot of time… but it does work (if the positive stories are news worthy) It’s just cost prohibitive for many individuals.. as it could cost thousands of dollars a month to hire a reputable firm to handle this and it will take many months even if wildly successful … (think about it.. the negative story was also wildly successful)
It is a mixture of SEO and PR… but the lion’s share is PR… because even the world’s best SEO will fail against a onslaught of negative blogs and forums regarding an individual.