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Reputation Management

New ID Studios Reviews & Reputation Management

New ID Studios are a company with a problem.

Way back in 2009 I wrote a post about their business practices – which essentially amount to bullying/pressurising people into paying around £1,400 a set of photos. That post continues to attract traffic and comments from disgruntled customers today.

There have also been posts like this from the Mirror – Maddened by New ID Studios

Their review SERP ain’t too pretty as a result (click to enlarge):

ruh roh

It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that New ID might seek to repair their damaged reputation… Sadly their quest doesn’t seem to be so much about making amends with those customers they’ve upset, or changing their business practices.

*sigh*

I’ve been receiving fake comments on my post.

How do I know they’re fake? They’re pretty easy to recognise. All the fake comments come from either a hushmail or gmx email account which is kind of unusual. Then I noticed that some of the comments originated from the same IP address.

Another *sigh*

I decided to check out some of the review sites too.

First up – their Qype reviews all look fabulously positive… At first glance – then I saw this (click to enlarge):

Yep – that’s the same review from the same reviewer for two different New ID locations… Spooky, huh? What are the chances?

With the exception of the user above, out of the remaining 37 reviews of the Manchester New ID on Qype – only one reviewer has reviewed more than one company. Everyone else just reviewed New ID Manchester.

It’s a similar story on Review Centre – lots of reviews from people who have only written one review. Wahanda? Same again.

I wonder what that could mean?

*cough*

*cough*

Should anyone from New ID Studios happen upon this post, I’m truly delighted that you seem to have an issue with your reputation online. You deserve it.

Love,

Hannah x

Image credit

Responsibility & a Lesson in Reputation Management

 

Intro: this is a guest post from my oh so knowledgeable, helpful and kind SEO buddy Rishi. You will doubtlessly notice and I’m sure appreciate the break from the usual drivel which is spouted on this blog.  

 

 

 

Last Friday a well known and widely read industry blog called techcrunch posted a rumour:
“I heard from an irate friend who works at CBS that last.fm recently provided the RIAA with a giant dump of user data to track down people who are scrobbling unreleased tracks. As word spread numerous employees at last.fm were up in arms because the data collected (a) can be used to identify individuals and (b) will likely be shared with 3rd parties that have relationships with the RIAA.”

( I refuse to link to the article out of sheer principle).

From the comments it is apparent that many readers of the blog deleted their accounts in response. Nor was this the only result of the post, the Last.Fm has definitely taken a hit on its reputation on that timeframe – we don’t know what the numbers of unsubscribers were, but given that the post was made late on Friday, without a real response available from the UK arm of Last.fm, the damage was collating over the weekend.

However, the team at Last.fm UK hit back with “Techcrunch are full of shit” – brave and bold move – where they called out Techcrunch and asked their readers to spread the word. The article has had over 4300 diggs and still climbing, twitter is buzzing with the story, and support messages are coming in fast and furious.

But this was not the only extent of the damage control that the team carried out, the comments on the post highlight another measure:

“As soon as we saw the TC article we suspended the system that cleans out user accounts marked for deletion, expecting that people would do exactly as you did. If you contact our support team (support [at] last.fm) we should be able to restore your account and scrobbles.”

 

I think that there are two valuable lessons to be learnt here:

1. Responsibility.

A blog as influential as techcrunch should really verify their sources and stories – what you say on the internet can sometimes have immediate and enormous impact.

This is pretty much true of the ever increasing News blogs and newspaper sites, as well as top bloggers.  A code of conduct that is applied to offline media should realistically extend to online media – remember, just because it’s a blog, does not mean you aren’t open to being sued, libel is libel, and if proven, damages need to be paid.

My advise to bloggers is don’t run for the cheap win, in the long run, very few can sustain that strategy. Oh, and take out bloggers insurance if you do.

 

2. Reputation Management is Real Time.

Last.Fm’s response and method of response turned a PR incident for them into a PR incident for their attacker. They used the right medium – social media and their blog to get their message across, and quickly.

Even though it was the weekend in the UK, as soon as Last.Fm staff heard the rumour, they instantly began a campaign of rebuttal, commenting on Techcrunch’s original article and on twitter, while at the same time working on their master stroke, which they dropped first thing Monday. This is a great Reputation Management strategy, and I am not the only one who thinks so: A Great Example of Hosting the Conversation When Under Attack

 

And in conclusion, here is an example of how NOT to get involved in Reputation Management: What happened when a blogger decided to take on Ryanair

 

Hungry for more? Read some other excellent articles related to this topic: Ryanair Gets Bad Twitter Press; No More Talk of Conversations; How’s Your Brand Reputation Doing?

 

Rishi Lakhani is a Search Marketing Strategist. Feel free to follow him on twitter.