If you or your company has ever been the subject of an allegation such as a whistleblower claim, a product recall, or being the target of a malicious false allegation, then you know the Internet can be an unforgiving place. Errors can compound, while unfavorable stories pile up like a multi-car accident on the Interstate.
Several services offer what appears to be an easy way to contain and eventually eliminate these electronic toxic spills. They claim to possess an algorithm that will drive negative traffic down from search engines such as Google or Yahoo. This is brilliant marketing. But some of the most diligent researchers work in the news business. I tell those who ask to be very cautious and that these promises are next to impossible to deliver upon. Any diligent researcher will always start at the bottom and work their way to the top. No one can alter someone else’s electronic publications without permission.
Cleaning Up An Electronic Toxic Spill Requires Tools, Tenacity And Some Common Sense.
We Recommend The Following:
Devote A Page To Your Own Message:
Your story needs to be told quickly, clearly and concisely. Never allow someone not representing your interests to take control of your message.
Build An Ambassador Program:
Include your vendors, suppliers, employees, neighbors and trade groups since they are all potential ambassadors. Ask them if they would like to participate. After all, your business contributes to their livelihood. You will be pleased to learn in most cases, of their willingness to help.
Take Time To Find And Develop Your Own Experts:
The Internet is littered with junk science. It is worth the time and effort to develop relationships with reputable university professors, statisticians, analysts, and others who can serve as very effective third party arbitrators.
Do Not Feel You Need To React To Every Blog:
There are many bloggers who will never be swayed by the evidence. Reacting may cause an online firefight, which in itself can become a source of misinformation and confusion.
Get Informed And Maintain Your Objectivity:
Get the advice of a professional and allow him/ her to counsel you rather than react and potentially make the situation worse. Often this starts with your attorney and then engaging the services of a crisis communications firm.