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Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Stoppelman’

Is Reddit the New Reputation Management Tool?

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Confession: we’re new to Reddit. We kind of saw it as a place where people gathered to argue over whether Game of Thrones needs to be more faithful to the books before we used it to scroll through theories about the Breaking Bad finale (it’s a “degrees of nerditude” issue). But this week our friends at Solomon McCown & Company posted a story on their blog asking whether PR needs to get more familiar with the site—and the answer is definitely “yes.”

Lots of people whose names you know have subjected themselves to “ask me anything” sessions, and now it’s almost a requirement. Some AMAs are fascinating (“I am a former Amish person that left home and joined the military“) while others are strictly for the fans (“I’m Dennis from Always Sunny“) and some are a little disappointing (Hi, President Obama).

The most relevant session happened this past weekend, when Yelp‘s CEO Jeremy Stoppelman ”stopped by”. As you might expect for a somewhat controversial company, most of the action involved Stoppelman defending his business and its practices. Key quote:

“There has never been any amount of money you could pay us to manipulate reviews.”

Some other responses:

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Yelp Discontinues ‘Favorite Review’ Feature

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An hour ago, Yelp CEO and co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman answered questions from reporters about two policy changes. The user review-powered business directory site has received a lot of heat about its “Favorite Review” feature, as well as the unwanted astro-turfing that inevitably happens on sites with user reviews.

Yelp discontinued the pay-for-play Favorite offering, which moved the best review to the top, pushing other reviews down, or off the page. The service is still defined on Yelp’s About Us page: “Paying advertisers can also promote a favorite review at the top of their Yelp page, but can never change or re-order their other reviews.”

The other change has to do with Yelp’s review filter functionality. The impact of which is not quite as straightforward. It was explained that any reviews that have been filtered will be viewable under a link on the bottom of the business’s page. You’ll be able to see that ‘something happened’ when a review has been removed.

Stoppelman deflected questions of the timing of the changes during the call, to coincide with ongoing class action lawsuits, defaulting to variations on the message that Yelp attempts to treat all businesses equally. The CEO also declined to agree that the changes will give credence to the claims of the plaintiffs in the three suits.

RELATED: Yelp PR Head Discusses Company’s PR Challenges And Opportunities

Yelp PR Head Discusses Company’s PR Challenges And Opportunities

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Two days after The New York Times asked Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, “If nothing else, do you think you have a public relations problem?” we caught up with Yelp VP of Communications Vince Sollitto.

The Times article, titled, “Running Yelp, the Site Business Owners Love to Hate,” refers in part to three class action lawsuits against Yelp on behalf of eleven businesses, which allege the company has tried to get businesses to advertise on the site by saying it could alter their reviews.

Sollitto has extensive PR experience, having formerly served as Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s handler and also head of communications at PayPal.

We asked him how he would respond to the Times headline, “the site business owners love to hate.”

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