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Reputation

Q&A: What’s the Best Way to Respond to Bad Reviews?

These chefs might seem to be reading their negative Yelp reviews for the first time, but anyone adept in the reputation management field knows how to gauge sentiments online.

We all know that such reviews have great influence, even though many are written by amateurs who may have had a few too many before deciding to bring down a business’s rating over one proverbial fly in the soup.

So what’s the best way to respond to these negative reviews? We spoke to Karan Chaudhry–CEO of “leading provider of instant feedback solutions for restaurants and retailers” DropThought–to learn more.

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Corporate ‘Fact-Checking’ Blogs: Trend or Fad?

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In the wake of aggressive corporate communications moves like America’s biggest company “fact-checking” New York Times op-eds, we thought we’d check in on BlackBerry, the former best friend of Alicia Keys.

Last week, the company’s SVP of marketing announced the launch of its own “fact check portal”, which is usually the kind of thing reserved for politicians whose enemies will never believe that they have, in fact, seen the birth certificate.

So how is the portal doing so far?

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Google Now Ready to Begin ‘Forgetting’ Europeans

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Last month, several of our favorite PR experts weighed in on a European Union court’s decision to force Google to consider “forgetting” individual Europeans when their search results include unflattering links. The general consensus held that, while this decision could greatly affect European clients, it would almost certainly not spread to the U.S.

Yesterday, however, Google announced that it was ready to begin the process of forgetting. Details after the jump.

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5 Tips for Creativity in Times of Crisis or Controversy

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Today we bring you a guest post by Howard Bragman, founder and chairman of Fifteen Minutes PR.

This post is part of an ongoing series.

Like many in our profession, I sometimes feel like the guy at the circus juggling plates on the ends of sticks. It looks precarious, but like the guy under the big top, I am happiest when there is a lot going on.

Over the past several years, I’ve had three primary jobs: 1.) Chairman and Founder of Fifteen Minutes, a Los Angeles-based PR firm that specializes in consumer brands, entertainment and crisis/controversy clients; 2.) Vice Chairman of Reputation.com, the largest and category-creating online reputation management company; and 3.) Network and cable broadcast news contributor, providing my take on the reputational events of the day.

My PR and crisis work often involves people and companies seeking to prevent or assuage a whirlwind of damaging press.

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Dr. Oz Gets a Warning About His Weight-Loss Recommendations

dr. oz showDr. Oz made an appearance on Capitol Hill yesterday, appearing before the Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance Senate subcommittee and it didn’t go well.

The hearing was focused on the promotion and false advertising of weight loss products on Dr. Oz’s show. The chairwoman of the committee, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, had a serious issue with the products that Dr. Oz has recommended because of the lack of strong science behind them.

“Your credibility is being maligned by fraudsters and frankly being threatened by the notion that anybody can take an itty-bitty pill to push fat out of their system,” said Sen. McCaskill. She also reminded him that he’s a doctor in addition to a celebrity personality, so he has a responsibility to the public.

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Gawker Finally Asks Whether ‘PR People Deserve Our Sympathy’

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Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan–who joined the outlet after a stint as a reporter at PR Week–has some opinions about the communications industry. Some “unvarnished (and sometimes mean)” opinions.

Today Nolan makes his perspective on the practice clearer than before. His post asks the headlining question in response to a story in proletarian pub Jacobin arguing that some journalists’ tendency to hate on PR is both a class and gender issue and that writers should be more sympathetic regarding the work that professional communicators do.

His basic conclusion:

“Do PR people deserve our sympathy? Yes. Does the PR industry deserve our sympathy? No. “

There’s more if you want to take your bitter, bitter medicine.

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10 Top Firms Promise Not to ‘Sockpuppet’ Clients’ Wikipedia Pages

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One of the PR industry’s longstanding ethical debates appears closer to a resolution: the matter of Wikipedia “sockpuppets“. Today, several of the industry’s top players released a statement promising not to bend the rules of the public database to their own clients’ benefit.

Last year, Wikipedia took a public stand against the practice of hiring administrators to revamp clients’ profiles; it even went so far as to call out Wiki-PR, a firm specializing in the practice, by name. The firms involved in today’s announcement, however, want the organization to know that PR and public content databases can be friends.

The list and the statement after the jump.

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Google Agrees: Germans Have a ‘Right to Be Forgotten’

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…but Germans are feeling luckier.

Today in reputation management news, the legal fight is over.

Google seems more eager than expected to go along with a recent European Union court ruling requiring the company to give citizens the right to request the removal of unflattering links–at least in Germany.

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More MSNBC Issues: Network Sued for Misidentifying Michigan Man as Criminal

MSNBC FailSo, for the past few weeks, MSNBC has been in the news, instead of reporting it.

Most recently, we have MSNBC celebrating Cinco de Mayo in an appalling way with sombreros and Tequila. Then, Chuck Todd got called out by CNN‘s Vaughn Sterling in a glorious way for the peacock’s “breaking news.” And then, there was that time when MSNBC decided to broadcast its own “Racial Draft,” because Dave Chappelle’s skits needs to be resurrected on national news formats.

This #MSNBCFail actually occurred in October 2009 but it is just now seeing its day in court. For those who have misplaced their “Media 101″ handbook, here’s Rule No. 4,934 of “How not to screw your entire credibility with one report.” Get the name right, please. Yes, this really happened.

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Documents Show That Coca-Cola Supported Both MADD & A Group Opposed To Stricter Drunk Driving Laws

coke lightboxThe Huffington Post has gotten its hands on documents that show while Coca-Cola was supporting Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) it was also a member of the American Beverage Institute (ABI). The ABI, in trying to live up to its stated mission of “the protection of responsible on-premise consumption of adult beverages” has supported measures that would lower the legal blood-alcohol limits and fought against measures that would raise taxes on alcohol and institute sobriety checkpoints. An op-ed highlighted on the About Us page right now is from the October 24, 2013 issue of the Las Vegas Review-Journal called “Lower blood-alcohol limits won’t curb drunk driving deaths.”

When questioned about the support, Coke spokesperson Kirsten Witt told HuffPo, “On behalf of our customers, Coca-Cola has provided support to ABI over the years. We are not engaged in ABI advocacy efforts.” According to the HuffPo story, the annual membership dues at ABI are in “… between $2,500 a year (for companies with under $1 billion in sales that attend no meetings) to $45,000 a year (for those with $2 billion in sales that attend the three ABI meetings a year)” for non-alcohol companies. Dues vary for restaurants, retailers, companies that sell non-alcoholic beverages and businesses that sell alcohol.

MADD’s chief government affairs officer J.T. Griffin said of the situation, “It is a little shocking. I guess it is unfortunate. But it certainly is their right.”

Griffin is right. It’s totally Coke’s right to support both. But with customers looking for authenticity, it calls the company’s brand into question.

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