Search, PR & Reputation Management

October 5, 2010
By Lisa Barone in Internet Marketing Conferences

Stay with me, people!  Let’s just hop right into this one.  Up on stage are Todd Friesen, Kristjan Mar Hauksson, Rebecca Lieb, and Max Thomas.  My brain is mush and my fingers are tired so…let’s see how this goes, eh? ;)

Rebecca Lieb is going to kick things off with some numbers and landscape. eConsultancy just posted a study that looked at social media and online PR.  What companies say they’re doing, how they’re measuring it, and what they’re spending on it.

Is social the new search?  People say, yes, it is. We’re talking about “sharing” not “searching”. They did an online survey that spoke with 800 respondents, most of which were from the UK. The stats below come from their findings.

Online PR Tactics: What are they doing?

62 percent are doing online traditional media relations. They’re trying to get their stories onto the sites of major publications.   They looked at how online PR tactics have changed in the last year.  They’re seeing big growth in SEO press releases and online crisis management, which isn’t too surprising. They’re not seeing things like a lot of blog relations. Online reputation monitoring is down 3 percent from last year, as are all the “newer”, shinier things.

What are people doing in social media? 56 percent are creating social profiles, 55 percent are creating video content.   There’s only been a one percent increase in creating a corporate blog.

Why are people using Facebook and Twitter? For marketing, publicizing new content, brand monitoring, getting customer feedback, reacting to customer service issues, etc.  Changes in the use of Twitter – 13 percent are using it as a marketing channel, 12 percent are gathering customer feedback.

54 percent of companies say they’re using some sort of buzz monitoring tool. That’s pretty impressive.  They’re using a lot of free tools (54 percent). That could be Twitter, Facebook, Technorati, Google Blog Search, etc. It’s not just the expensive packages. 83 percent of companies expect their social media investment to increase… but that’s because they’re currently spending 0-$10,000 on social media. They love it because it’s free.

Companies are also neglecting investing in people to employ social media. 61 percent of companies have 1 or 0 people dedicated to social media. 47 percent of people say they can’t measure social media — probably because they’re not dedicating people to it!


  • More focused use of social media
  • Increased investment but still limited resources
  • Still just period of experimentation for many

Worth Noting: I commented on the same study over at SmallBizTrends last week. You may want to check that out. I was a little more coherent there.]

Next up is Kristjan. He comes from Iceland.

How do journalists research their material? From observing 1000s of news and ePR distributions, they’ve found that

  • Google News picks it up within 2 to 5 minutes, even less in some cases.
  • Those with comprehensive Google Alerts get it in their inbox within minutes
  • 70 percent of trackbacks happen in 24 hours.

How do journalists use the Internet?

We know that at least 98 percent of journalists go online daily and some 78 percent use it for research. But what we do not know is the response time.

Media Impact

New goes live at 9:10 on the 15th of August. Google News picks it up around 9:12. The first referred organic visitor comes through Twitter at 9:29. Google News returns the first visitor at 10:41. First recognized news media comes in at 13:31 through an RSS news pick up. Around that time there is an explosion in incoming media visits.  Google now has more than 34k results indexed.

If you get the proper news out there, if you know how journalists search, you can be in front of them. You have to know what types of searches they use.

After reviewing well over 2,000,000  individual visits happening at the eNewsPR network they have ID’d several trends:

  • Google Web is still the prominent research tool, NOT Twitter
  • US journalists use few keywords when searching – 2.5 keywords. Their Canadian colleagues will use 3.3
  • US Journalists will use for US news search but will look outside to local Google when searching international.
  • Neither Twitter nor Facebook come out strong in regards to referring traffic.

Action Points

  • When sending out press releases understand that US journalists are not very accurate when searching. Use the Google Keyword tool and Google Trends.
  • Twitter & Facebook are great, but Google leads the way
  • What types of analytics are you using to monitor your site?

Next up is Todd. He just got a new job. He’s the Director of SEO at Performics. Looking sharp, Todd.

The Internet is just too easy to get on and get involved. You can get a domain for seven dollars, you can host it on GoDaddy, you can put a blog up. It’s too easy.

Why you need to manage your reputation

How often does this happen?

  • 60 billion searches a month
  • 51 billion searchers don’t proceed past page 2
  • 90 percent of consumers trust reviews and recommendations from other consumers
  • 83 percent of companies will experience an event that will impact share price negatively
  • 58 percent of searchers will visit a competing web site after seeing a negative search result
  • 81 percent of consumers research online prior to a purchase
  • 87 percent of people believe a CEO’s reputation reflects the company’s reputation
  • 78 percent of executive recruiters research a candidate online
  • 35 percent of recruiters have rejected a candidate based on search results

Control What Is Seen

Todd talks about Elliot Spitzer and the crapfest that became his search results. Most of the stuff ranking, Elliot’s team had no control over. You want to get control.  You want to create stuff that you can control and that will rank.

How bad is it out there?

  • 320,000+ complaints filed on Ripoff Report.
  • 1,220 companies with >5 complaints registered.

Complaints Board

  • 28,500 US based complaints filed
  • 10,600 Canadian based complaints filed
  • 10,200 UK based complaints.

Many authoritative blogs that report on personalities and companies.

Effective Strategies

Get a blog. Regularly post on it. Blog/News on a subdomain

Own your name: Get your company listed in Wikipedia. Register your name everywhere – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Scribd, WordPress, etc.  You want to build links to these sites to get them to rank.   Use They’ll register all your social profiles for you.

Next up is Max.

Online Reputation Types

  1. We have so many negative reviews and listings – how do we get rid of them.
  2. Our business keeps getting picked on by the media and angry bloggers
  3. We do our best to serve our customers

You want lots of the latter as clients.

Proactive Online Conversation

Social Media

  • Set up real time searches for brands/product names
  • Monitor conversations
  • Respond to positive and negative comments – Keep positive conversations public. Address negative complaints publicly. Don’t delete unless spam or cannot be solved. [Er, I wouldn’t delete regardless. It’s okay to have bad comments. It looks weird if its ALL love and bunnies]

Respond to positive and negative reviews early.  Reviews on Yelp will rank really well. If someone comments and reveals misinformation, respond to correct it. Even if it doesn’t help that user, it will help everyone who finds it.     If someone is angry, say thank you, acknowledge the mistake, and move forward.

Client Ground Rules

  • Internal Communicate and Management
  • Make sure clients respond to comments. Don’t make it canned.
  • If issues persist, its probably internal
  • You must engage in online conversations.

And we’re done.  One more session to go today. Hang tight.

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