Repair Your Reputation: It Takes Hard Work and Time (Part 1)
It's our job to help you achieve realistic results and manage your expectations
We have been working with several clients to help improve their online image. Our clients needs differ and difficulties vary based on their individual circumstances. The methods we use also differ but in every case we tailor a strategy that fits their goals.
One client saw their brand damaged by an unsuccessful program that the company produced. While the event failed based on its own merits, it became apparent that political forces and individual agendas undermined the potential that was initially seen. Lessons were learned about how these agendas became traitorous and devolved to the planting of false story lines. This story could just as easily be based on crisis communication but for now we will focus on the post event fall out.
Unfortunately for this company the negative press brought forward "skeletons" from an executives past. In hindsight the press coverage was unfair; it focused on something that occurred nearly 30 years ago and involved an entanglement with a government agency and totally looked past the issue with the current event, but you know the saying... don't let truth stand in the way of a good story or a corporate coup.
While the client initially thought the damage was done with the event sunsetting, they soon found out the real impact of negative press in an online and digital world. The client moved on and started focusing on future programs and events to be managed. As potential investors and partners learned of the failed event they also "Googled" the storyline and passed on engaging with this entity and their proposals. We had our work cut out for us.
Working with the client we developed a plan that included making sure they understood that what lied ahead was a long road. There is no magic remedy for negative search results on the web and we are not snake oil salesmen. We were honest that it would require their effort, they would be the ones doing the hard work, but we would be right there with them. It is hard to tell a client that there are no guarantees and that getting to where they needed to be would be a challenge, but we had to be honest.
The obvious first step... "Googling" the brand name. We didn't just stop at the first page, we went deep and analysed each piece: the good, the bad and the ugly. The first thing that jumped out at us was that they had zero digital "fingerprints" prior to this event. Despite successfully managing and promoting events and properties all over the country, there was not one mention. We also found that other than the "antiquated" and planted storyline most of the results were a mixed bag of positive and negative community supporters and detractors.
From this analysis we knew our first order of business was to develop a website and social media presence. We needed to tell the story of this successful company and that meant creating a timeline of past productions and loading those stories into the website and social media in a way that added the deserved credibility to our client. We had to develop a library of assets and release them slowly into their new online avenues.
As we worked to "recreate" their history we learned a lot of great things about our client and realized quickly that this was becoming personal for us; we grew close to this client and truly felt they were unfairly targeted and wrongly maligned. So it became even more important that we achieved positive results and we knew we were up to the task.
Check back soon for how it turns out...