Avoid Reputation Management Nightmares That Can Last Forever

Reputation Management is not Easy with the Internet's Long Memory

Reputation Management is not Easy with the Internet's Long Memory

Emma’s Pizza (@EmmasPizza),has a huge problem.  Not that berating and calling their customers name in Twitter is not terrible, but really twitter has a short memory and if it was just twitter they could recover somewhat.  Sure it will hurt short and medium term but most twitter feeds are not saved and after it blows over it will pass.  They will lose customers and some that actually knew about the incident might mention them in the future but basically it will blow over inside of a few months.  The problem is that when their fiasco is captured by the blogosphere they will hurt for life.  While only a relatively few will remember the fiasco on Twitter, once the blogs pointing out their mistakes go up they will continue be crucified for life. Even people from other countries will write about them and keep the negative press up for them.  I am in Miami and do not even care about a business in Massachusetts but I am writing about it because it is timely and has lessons to learn. Blogs usually never go down and when people search for them these blogs will still come up; especially if major blogs have picked up the story.

If it was just one or two blogs it might not be so terrible after all they may be buried in the 5th page.  The problem is that many bloggers will get in the bandwagon like I did after reading another blog about them.  I was not privy to the controversy, I would not have ever known about them if it were not for that blog, but I picked them up reading the blog.  I added my own spin on the situation and I added to the internet memory engine with one more signal to add a nail to their coffin.

The points brought up in that blog are all valid and all quite obvious.  I mean they are business 101 best practices that should not be done in brick and mortar store and even less in social media.  They really do not need to be repeated as everyone knows you are just inviting trouble any time you berate a customer and call them name and become defensive with those trying to defend them.  The not so obvious consequence is that while twitter has a relatively short memory, blogs have a relatively forever memory. Unlike the short memory of newspapers and twitter, blogs will feed Google SERPs for life.  So I think the biggest lesson that is not so obvious is that:

Content marketers are starving for content and when a popular blog picks you up your trouble may never ever be over! Beware of the long memories you can create with your bad press.

The many blogs that will follow these reports will add enough nodes to you that they will keep your mistake fresh whenever someone searches for you.  So if a customer is considering you and searches for your address and sees your bad press they may stop considering you.  Your short term problems are bad but not as bad as cleaning your reputation for years after when people find blogs like these!  Make sure you handle things right if you make a mistake so the blogs about you are about how creatively you handled the problem instead of how terrible you handled them!

What can Emma’s Pizza do to avoid the tons of permanent blogs created about them?

TakeAways

Emma’s Pizza’s @EmmasPizza fiasco teaches that Twitter might soon forget but not the blogosphere.
Beware of the long memories you can create with your bad press. Google has a very long memory!
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Content marketers are starving for content if a popular blog uses you as an example of what not to do it will last forever!
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One thought on “Avoid Reputation Management Nightmares That Can Last Forever

  1. Wow! I had no idea about this case, but what a bummer for them that a popular blog decided to pick up the scenario to use as an example and lesson. I would hate to know that when people are searching for my restaurant, they may not only find poor reviews but also blog posts bashing them.

    I really appreciate Hubspot’s point about apologizing right away and remedying the situation. That’s what I noticed on some of the best Facebook fan pages too!

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