A few years ago we began working with a client on an unrelated matter, and as part of our research to help him with his PR, I was searching on Google when I found something I didn’t want to see.
I got a pit in my stomach.
Could this be true? Our client had been accused of sexual harassment by a former business partner.
I’ll admit, I didn’t want it to be true. We really enjoyed working with this client, and it was a big client. Just the same, I was worried about our name being tarnished if we helped someone who was guilty of sexual harassment improve their personal brand. And yet, I couldn’t just fire the client before I knew whether this accusation was true or not.
I continued to do research, and I couldn’t find a single source to back up the first.
“That’s strange,” I thought. If a famous executive were accused of such a thing, you’d think there’d be more than one…article? I took a second look at the source, and it wasn’t an article, it was a press release. “Anyone can send out a press release,” I thought. “I wonder what the real story is here?”
I talked to my client, in a non-judgmental, seeking-to-understand tone. He explained, convincingly, that he was negotiating a deal and decided to not go through with it. Then, the sister of the woman he was negotiating with heard about it, and put up the press release herself, without the woman’s permission, and then promptly disappeared. “Her family doesn’t even know where she is,” he explained. “The actual woman who I allegedly harassed had nothing to do with it, and she feels bad but she can’t do anything.”
Our client’s story was corroborated by other employees at his company.
The negative press release was posted a decade before we began to work with our client. He had tried everything to get it removed. He contacted the company hosting it, but they wouldn’t budge. He contracted a reputation management company, but they weren’t able to do anything, either.
I told him we couldn’t get rid of the press release, but we could push it down so that nobody would ever see it. He agreed to give it a try.
Over the next three months, we secured ten positive PR placements and sent out two press releases about his companies. His name was sprinkled throughout the PR so that as soon as the articles went live and were indexed by Google, they showed up higher in search results than the negative press release.
In just a few months, the negative press release no longer appeared on the first page of Google when someone searched for our client’s name.
How PR for Reputation Management Works
It tends to work better if you’ve been wrongly accused. If you’re guilty, there’s not much we can do, and even if we could, we wouldn’t. We work exclusively with clients who have been treated unfairly. It’s a defense attorney’s obligation to do the best they can for their client, guilty or not, but when we work with a client to restore their online reputation we verify their innocence first.
From there, the process is straightforward:
- Identify what types of search terms are bringing up the negative information
- Craft article headlines that would effectively compete with, or push down, the negative information in search engines
- Find the publications that will do the best job of ranking the articles
- Target the writer at each publication most likely to be interested in the articles, and pitch our headlines
- Write the articles, and allow our clients to approve them
- Send the articles to the writers
- Wait for them to get published and indexed by Google
- Share the published articles
The best part is that there’s no maintenance involved. Once the work is done, it’s done. Those articles will stay live forever, more or less, pushing down the negative content, without you having to do a thing.
Best of all, when you work with Canvas PR, you get our guarantee. Whereas many PR firms charge you a monthly retainer, with no guaranteed results, we charge a flat fee per placement, and we guarantee it will be published within 90 days, or you get your money back.
Want more information about our PR services for reputation management? Contact us today!