Negative developments are sooner-or-later things, I’ve found in six years of blog content writing for business owners and professional practitioners. But by being proactive and doing what David Meerman Scott calls “getting in front of a media crisis”, I encourage those owners and professionals to keep in control. In fact, as I explain to new Say It For You clients one very important function of your blog is correcting readers’ false perceptions and inaccurate press statements about your company, your practice, or your industry in general.
“The world sees what the search engines say about you,” says removeyourname.com, a reputation management service. Ethical forms of reputation management, says Wikipedia, includes responding to customer complaints and asking sites to take down incorrect information”.
As a blogging trainer, I had reason to think about the power of negative press while reading this month’s issue of Indianapolis Monthly Magazine, which resurrects some very negative – and 40-year old – press about Indiana legislator Marilyn Schultz charging the then all-male member Columbia Club with gender discrimination.
That Indianapolis Monthly Magazine article is an extreme case, I think, because the news is so very old, and because Columbia Club has since come so far in welcoming and promoting women. But sooner or later, with such oceans of content being posted online every second, from every possible source, every practitioner, owner, and organization leader will face the challenge of responding to negative content.
It’s ironic, in a way. One goal of SEO marketing blogs is to move a company, a practice, or an organization UP, meaning in the direction of the top of Page One of Google. But, when there’s been some negative press, the goal becomes to “tamp DOWN” those negative search results with more positive content, in hopes searchers will come upon that newer content first.
How do you exercise journalistic control through business blogging? It’s a matter of timing. Even the best-designed websites are rarely flexible enough to allow day-to-day, even hour-by-hour updating.
Business blogging help can turn out to help with customer relations. When customers’ complaints and concerns are recognized and dealt with “in front of other people” (in blog posts), it gives the “apology” or the “remediation measure” more weight.
With blog posts, businesses have the ability to put out the news about themselves – now, and with their own “spin” on it!