Many companies face a delicate challenge in keeping their passionate users happy while insuring the company is profitable enough to pay the bills and invest in the future, objectives which often enter it conflict with one another. It isn’t rare that this conflict becomes a significant PR issue, as Facebook, through its management of Instagram, is experiencing first hand.
A New York Times article which appeared front and center on the first page of last Sunday’s business section illustrated clearly how clients expect their PR firms to actively manage search engine reputation issues as well:
“Think about what it’s like for my dating life when the first picture that comes up is me as the Devil,” says Mr. Kotick [...] “You see all this chatter and you realize that they game the search results. These super-sophisticated 19-year-olds are smarter than our expensive P.R. firm.” (His publicist, Steven Rubenstein, shrugs sheepishly.)
Reputations are also defined by search engine results
Now I don’t imagine that Mr. Kotick expects his publicist to understand the nuances of Google Image Search, Google Web Search and Google Autocomplete (a.k.a. Google Suggest). But he does expect his PR firm to work actively with SEO professionals to manage Mr. Kotick’s search engine reputation, rather than leaving it solely up to others to define Mr. Kotick’s digital reputation.
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