Month: April 2016


Online Reputation Management Tips

meditsites_reputation_managementAre negative search results hurting your business? Does your company lack any presence in the search results at all? No matter what issues you face, having control of your online reputation is possible with the right strategy.

In this article we are going to provide some of the most effective online reputation management tips to help you use the search results to grow and protect your business.

Online Reputation Management

What is Online Reputation Management?

The easiest way to explain online reputation management (ORM) is to show you. Go to Google, do a search for your name, your company’s name or your product’s name and take note of what shows up in the search results.

  • Do you see something negative?
  • Do you only see a couple, or no, results for a website or blog that you control?

If you answered ‘yes’ to either of these questions, then you have some work to do – specifically some online reputation management work.

Online reputation management is all about establishing yourself as a credible, authoritative resource for whatever it is you do and keeping the most relevant, useful results about you or your business on the first page of the search engines. Just about every transaction starts online now and if a prospective or current client sees something negative about you or your business as a top result, then you are taking a huge risk of losing that opportunity, and many others.

Tips to Manage Your Online Reputation

Reputation management has become a necessity for many businesses as mobile applications and websites allow competitors and customers to litter the Internet with whatever they please. This transparency is definitely a step in the right direction as it gives power back to the consumer. Unfortunately, there will always be that one company that relies on bashing their competitors or that one past client who makes their sole purpose in life to bring down your company because of one bad mistake you might have made.

On the positive side, a solid reputation management campaign can help your business not only bury negative or damaging search results, but it can place your most important business news, web assets and client interactions at the top of frequented search results pages.

Google has actually given the nod to reputation management by posting some advice of their own on how to manage your reputation through search results. Combining some of this advice with that of many other reputation management professionals, we are going to simplify online reputation management for you and provide you with the most useful and necessary tips.

Claim Your Brand Name

The first step to managing your online reputation is to claim your brand name online. Whether your brand is your name itself, your business name or your product name, you need to make sure that no one else has control of misrepresenting you online by controlling a piece of your brand.

To do this, use one of the following web services to lock up every instance of your brand name online:

Be consistent. Use one name across the board. For example, if your company name is XYZ Clothing, then use “xyzclothing” as your username for all of the services available through the 3 resources above.

Manage Your Brand Name

Once you have locked up the 300+ username accounts found through the resources above, the next thing to do is to manage them. Now, there is no possible way that you are going to properly manage all 300+ accounts so instead of spreading your time across all of these just focus on the top 10-25 (listed below). The 80-20 rule applies to these accounts as it does with many other things in business: the top 20% of these services will account for 80% or more of what is most effective.

Top Online Reputation Management Accounts

With each of these listed accounts, you MUST (at the very least) complete your profile 100% by adding some content, a photo, your info and links to other websites / accounts of yours.

Monitor Your Brand Name

Claiming and managing your brand name are only 2 parts of the equation when it comes to establishing and improving your online reputation. One of the most important pieces of reputation management is actually monitoring your brand online. Monitoring search results, blog posts, tweets, status updates and other mentions online can be an extremely difficult and time consuming task. Fortunately, there are some fantastic tools available for businesses to properly monitor their brand name.

Top Brand Monitoring Tools

With all of these resources, you will need to enter in your top search terms that you want to monitor. For example, if your company is XYZ Clothing then one of your search terms would be “xyz clothing”. These resources will query the major search engines, blogs and online mentions to let you know what has been picked up by the search engines.

Setup Google Alerts to automatically email you when a new mention comes up in the results. On top of that, check the search results at least once a week for your brand name to always keep a pulse on what these search results say about your brand.

Repair Your Brand Name

Keeping your brand name and online reputation completely spotless can be challenging if your business has had a checkered past. Fortunately, as we have shown, there are many ways to manage and monitor your brand online. In the case where you do happen to come across something that is less than favorable for your company, immediate action needs to be taken so your company and brand do not suffer from the wrong kind of publicity. Before action can be taken and you get worried, it is important that you understand what can and cannot be done.

Top Tips for Removing or Burying Negative Search Results

  • If you control where the result is coming from, then simply remove the mention of it from your site / blog
  • If you don’t control the content, then send a request to the site’s webmaster.
  • When the content has been removed, expedite the removal of the result by using the Google URL removal tool
  • Create profiles (top ones mentioned above) to help push negative results off of the first page
  • Post client testimonials on your website, blog, forum and social media profiles to bury negative comments

The best thing you can do to protect, manage and monitor your brand and online reputation is to post a lot of really good, interesting, useful content. This content should be / could be about pretty much anything that has to do with your business, clients, products, solutions, challenges, etc. There are literally thousands of things you can write about and post online. In addition, content does not just need to be text. Content can and should be videos, photos, podcasts, e-books and newsletters as well.


Create as many web assets for your brand as you can and keep them populated with great content. Do these 2 things consistently and your brand will be about as protected as it can get.


The 6 PR Tips Every Startup Should Employ

pr-for-business-Today there are more than 30 startups in the United States, Europe and China that are valued at $1 billion or more and that number is expected to increase. With 100 million startups opening up each year and 472 million entrepreneurs worldwide, competition to become the next big thing is brutal.

What does this mean for startups looking to establish their brand, get press coverage and gain recognition? The truth is, in the beginning it is tough. You will find it challenging to cut through all the competitive noise to establish your brand and get the media to pay attention to your company. However, there are strategies you can employ to establish yourself as a startup that cannot be ignored.

Here are six PR tips every startup should use to help gain a competitive advantage.

1. Be ready. First and foremost, you need to be prepared. If your product is not the best version of itself, you won’t get any good product reviews, no reporter will cover you and you will most likely experience backlash and negative press. And believe us, there is such thing as bad press. So, make sure you are completely ready before employing any PR strategies.

Related: Want to Get the Most Out of Your PR Pro? Follow These 5 Tips.

2. Establish your identity. Before you can tell the world who you are, make sure you know how to answer that question. To establish your identity, ask yourself: What are our values? What exactly is our company culture? What makes us different from our competitors? Are we doing something that no one else is doing? What makes us uniquely us? It’s important to define those answers and incorporate your identity, values and culture in every aspect of your startup. If you aren’t sure, ask those around you for help. Make a spreadsheet of the answers and rate which responses are the same. If there are too many different answers there is an issue. Fix it before telling your story.

3. Share your story. Learning to communicate a great story is an integral part of PR. After you’ve established your identity, you need to work on creating a narrative, or your startups story. If you want to stand out in the eyes of the press, investors and your target demographic, you must have a great story to share about who you are and how you got started. It will not only help you connect to your audience, but it will also make it hard for them to forget you. Incorporate this narrative in social media, in your messaging, during interviews and any other opportunity to talk about your startup. And a big key factor, use your company name in each narrative. Many people talk in superlatives instead of facts. Every sentence shared should be a soundbyte for media.

Related: Why ‘Pixie-Dust’ PR Programs Are Bad for Startups

4. Make sure there is CEO visibility. Your CEO or founder is your mouthpiece that plays an instrumental role in shaping your company’s image, brand and culture. Therefore he or she needs to be accessible and visible to the public. This means they must have a presence on social media, a positive relationship with the press and the ability to share your story flawlessly. Not only will their visibility create credibility and leadership in your industry, but it will also get them in front of the right people to help expand the business.

5.Don’t ignore social media. Establishing your brand and staying above the fray is all encompassing, time consuming and a lot of hard work. However, don’t forget the importance of creating a social-media strategy that represents your brand, your values and culture. In fact, you need to create an engaging social-media plan from the beginning to grow your presence. A good execution strategy for social media will allow you to establish your identity and credibility in your industry, share your story and position your CEO as a thought leader and pioneer. You need to dedicate time to directly engage with your followers, answer questions, share information and include them in the conversation.

6. Hire if you need help. Launching a startup is difficult and implementing strong PR strategies when you are just getting your foot off the ground can be challenging. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone, you can hire a professional. That said, you need to make sure they are a great match for your business and are excited about your plans. A good PR firm will help you establish a strong identity, effectively communicate your story to the right people, create thought leadership opportunities for your CEO and establish an engaging social-media program. They will build your brand, help you stand out, increase your visibility and get you in front of decision makers.


Illustration - Hemicycle in Strasbourg, during a plenary  session

30,000 lobbyists and counting: is Brussels under corporate sway?

When the Polish MEP Róża Thun was elected five years ago, she thought the job would be fairly straightforward. She hadn’t reckoned with the lobbyists.

Illustration - Hemicycle in Strasbourg, during a plenary  session
Illustration – Hemicycle in Strasbourg, during a plenary session

Take mobile phone charges. She saw the fact that EU citizens pay eye-watering sums in other EU states as an anomaly that needed fixing. But it wasn’t that simple. “We had telephone companies and lobbyists who started to invade us,” she recalls. “They obviously didn’t want to reduce roaming charges because it would hit them in the pocket.”

To stroll around the vast, ugly and permanent building site that is Brussels’ European district is to brush up against the power of the lobbies. Every office block, every glass and steel construction within a kilometre of the European commission, council and parliament is peopled by Europe’s biggest corporate names.

Thousands of companies, banks, law firms, PR consultancies and trade associations are there to bend ears and influence the regulations and laws that shape Europe’s single market, fix trade deals, and govern economic and commercial behaviour in a union of 507 million.

Lobbying is a billion-euro industry in Brussels. According to Corporate Europe Observatory, a watchdog campaigning for greater transparency, there are at least 30,000 lobbyists in Brussels, nearly matching the 31,000 staff employed by the European commission and making it second only to Washington in the concentration of those seeking to affect legislation. Lobbyists sign a transparency register run by the parliament and the commission, though it is not mandatory.

By some estimates, they influence 75% of legislation. In principle, lobbyists give politicians information and arguments during the decision-making process. In practice, the corridors of the parliament often teem with individuals, who meet MEPs in their offices or in open spaces such as the “Mickey Mouse bar” (nicknamed so because of the shape of its seats) inside the parliament.

They explain their concerns, provide a “position paper”, and send in suggestions for amendments to legislative proposals. Of course, the final decision is taken by MEPs. But examples are legion of the tail wagging the dog.

Lobbying is such a crucial part of the climate in Brussels that it has spawned manuals, a documentary (Who Really Runs the EU?) and even “the worst lobby awards”. Not surprisingly, the biggest movers and shakers agitate for the biggest industries with the most to gain – and lose – from European legislation.

It is a fertile time to be an energy lobbyist in Brussels. Vladimir Putin’s stranglehold on Europe’s gas supplies and campaign to dismember Ukraine have thrust energy to the top of the international and European agenda.

When Barack Obama visited EU headquarters in March, he had stern words in public – and even stronger remarks in private, according to senior diplomats – for Europe’s leaders, telling them they had to risk the wrath of their voters and go for fracking and shale gas to help immunise Europe against Russian blackmail.

In a letter to Downing St in November, Ivan Rogers, the UK’s ambassador to the EU, laid out a strategy for leaning on the commission to get it to adopt a minimalist position on shale exploration, entailing no new EU legislation. A week later David Cameron wrote to the commission chief, José Manuel Barroso, insisting on the light-touch regulation.

America’s shale revolution, entrenching low energy prices in the US, is having a big impact, leading to a bonanza for the fracking lobbies in Brussels.

From shale to climate-change policies, from car exhaust rules to renewables, from carbon-capture technologies to carbon-trading schemes, the energy lobby is highly active and successful in Brussels, with companies such as BP and Shell maintaining big operations aimed at shaping policy. “In a nutshell the energy-intensive lobbies say they are not competitive, especially vis-a-vis the US, because of shale and the low prices there,” says an industry insider engaged in Brussels lobbying. “They argue that we’re much too focused on renewables and climate change and that we should be much more open like the US.”

The most effective lobbying in Brussels centres on the gamekeepers-turned-poachers, the revolving door of senior commission officials, diplomats, and MEPs who retire or quit public office and instantly take up offers to translate their contacts and inside knowledge into lucrative lobbying work, often by moving to an office across the street.

Take Jean de Ruyt, a Belgian who knows Brussels inside out. As ambassador to the EU, the career diplomat in effect ran Belgium’s EU presidency four years ago, then retired, took up a job with a US law firm and is now a leading figure in the shale lobby.

His No 2 as ambassador is now chief of staff to Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European council steering EU summits.

For the shale lobby, Ukraine and Putin may represent less of a crisis than a huge opportunity. “The Ukraine crisis is seen as a blessing, giving the shale-gas lobby the perfect chance to say if you want to get rid of dependence on Russian gas…” said Antoine Simon, who analyses the politics of the extractive industries for Friends of the Earth.
Woman smoking cigarette
Lobbies in Brussels rushed to launch a counteroffensive against an EU tobacco directive. Photograph: Bernhard Classen/Alamy

In February the EU approved a new tobacco directive, which is designed to make smoking less attractive, particularly to young people. The lobbies in Brussels did not scrimp on resources as they rushed to launch a counteroffensive. About 200 representatives of three of the biggest tobacco companies, Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco, spent four weeks in the city, hogging hotels and spending more than €3m (£2.5m) on an action plan to weaken future regulation in two parts: persuading the European commission, and trying to convince MEPs and national governments.

Juan Páramo is a spokesman for Mesa del Tabaco, which represents the Spanish tobacco industry. He says he met Spanish MEPs “on various occasions” to explain the impact the directive would have on a “key” sector for Spain.

“Lobbies aren’t how they are depicted in the movies, but you have to be careful with your strategies,” says Andrés Perelló, a veteran socialist MEP and a member of the environment, public health and food safety committee. He is used to contending with industries relating to cars, fuel or medicine – which are all heavily exposed to regulatory changes – but he cannot think of a single industry that piles as much pressure on as the tobacco sector. He has no problem with lobbies when they stick to an “adequate” code of conduct. He has also rejected many of their manoeuvres. “We are always ready to have a dialogue, we don’t feel pressurised by anybody,” he says. Any time a lobbyist comes to see him is “totally transparent”, he says, and one of his assistants always takes notes of these meetings. “To be clear,” he adds.

Another MEP felt pressurised by the visits, which he says were “very cordial, and absolutely threatening”. He says the lobbying did not affect his final vote. “It didn’t taste good, but all of these procedures were legal,” he says.

With something as sensitive as tobacco regulation, health associations act as a sort of anti-lobby. “Faced with the tremendous pressure of the tobacco monopolies, nurses have had to do something they were not at all used to: lobby for public health,” says Francisco Rodríguez, president of Spain’s national committee for the prevention of smoking.

Nonetheless, far from the influence of the ordinary channels, the map of pressures on an oligopolistic market as important as tobacco brings with it all kinds of intrigues behind the scenes. Confidential documents published by the Guardian in September shows how the giant of the sector, Philip Morris International, managed to postpone a vote by MEPs on the anti-smoking directive. “It was quite disgusting,” says a high-level parliamentary source.
EU flags are seen out outside European commission headquarters in Brussels
European Union flags outside the European commission headquarters in Brussels. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

One of the principal instruments in Brussels is diplomatic lobbying by member states. “The big embassies make a conscious effort to stay in contact with the strongest national delegations in parliament,” says Florent Saint Martin, associate professor at Sciences Po, and a former MEP assistant who founded his own lobby consultancy. French MEPs receive detailed memos from the general secretariat of European affairs, an intergovernmental structure in Paris. A European affairs minister acts as the official correspondent with the European parliament.

“It’s not so much as explaining how a vote should go,” says Jean-Paul Gauzès, a French MEP and a financial specialist, “but about providing explanations on the texts which will be voted upon, and on defending the French interest in them.”

“It’s now possible for us to check in with an MEP to counter or amend a text we consider to be against our interests,” says Alexis Dutertre, a permanent representative for France to the EU. “However, having 28 member states today is more difficult than having six, 12 or 15 to win a majority, or build a minority blocking other states with.” Colleagues are supposed to spend as much time at the European parliament as in the European council, the bread-and-butter work of the European diplomat.

But the relationship between diplomat and MEP could be under pressure if the far-right parties gain seats at the European elections. “A Front National delegation will cause a really big problem because they are absent, to the point of being incontrollable,” predicts Olivier Costa, director of political studies at the College of Europe in Bruges. Costa believes France’s position is coming to resemble that of the UK, which has its fair share of Eurosceptic MPs.

“If the Front National win 20 seats, we’ll only be able to count on some 50 useful MPs,” says a French spokesman. “That will rank us alongside the next level down of populated countries, such as Spain and Poland.”
Big tech
Facebook’s data centre in Lulea
A man walks past a logo created from pictures of Facebook users in the company’s data centre in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

One of the most prominent Brussels lobbyists is Erika Mann of Facebook. She spent 15 years with the German Social Democrats before walking through the “revolving door” to the lobbyists.

The latest figures in the official EU lobby register reveal Facebook spent less than €500,000 on lobbying in Brussels in 2012. That’s surprisingly low: Facebook invested about $2.8m (£1.7m) in the first quarter of 2014 alone in the US. But US tech companies such Facebook, Google, Amazon and Microsoft rarely work as individual companies but more in corporate alliances. Jan-Philipp Albrecht, the German Green MEP responsible for the data protection reform act in parliament, estimates that more than half of companies that contact him are from the US. Other MEPs say the pressure is unprecedented.

In February 2013 the website found some MEPs were not only inspired to make amendments suggested by US firms, but copied and pasted huge passages of text sent by lobbyists. Understanding who is doing the lobbying is not always straightforward: not all lobbyists are open about their allegiance – some even send their “suggestions” on paper with no clear letterhead.

Mann is more candid, always present in the debate, a regular on the public speaking and debate circuit, even turning up to European parliament sessions. It’s hard to say how influential she has been after just a few months in the job. But one thing is for sure: the longer negotiations run on, the longer lobbyists kick about to try to influence proceedings. With data protection, as with everything in Brussels, “nothing is approved until everything is approved”.
Consumer protection
Compared with these other formidable pressure groups, consumer protection is the poor relation of the lobbying family. The only voice for consumers in Brussels is Beuc, the Bureau of European Consumer Organisations. It has 35 employers and almost half its budget comes from the EU itself, making negotiation tricky.

If, for example, a consumer is tricked by a dodgy tour operator, there is little the EU can do. Beuc has acted in a few cases for consumers, mobile phone roaming charges and food labelling being among them. “Our task is to balance the industrial lobbies,” says Johannes Kleis, a spokesman for Beuc. But in terms of fighting industry lobbies, it’s David v Goliath. “One regret is that we have only recently started looking into consumer issues in financial services,” Kleis says. While this may be handled at a nation-state level, Kleis says it’s not enough “given that the market is global”.


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Our team will hold your events and take care of all logistics and requirements. We will provide you with the following services:

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We help you understand the specific and unique threats and risks to your organisation and accordingly offer you a plan of action and guide you in the execution process. We have two types as follows:

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In this service of reputation management we seek to influencing and controlling  individual’s or organisation’s reputation. Although reputation management has become difficult to control due to the rise of social media and the virtual world; London Centre For Public Affairs (LCPA) has its own strategy to help improve and protect your reputation. Beside traditional reputation management we offer online solutions for your reputation as follows:

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Our public relations and expert marketing services help establish your knowledge leadership and enhance awareness, resulting in more leads and faster growth. From media relations and publicity, to news releases and beyond, Market It Write’s PR services offerings integrate with our other services to create focused and consistent PR campaigns that work. With strengths that extend from research, to strategy, to creative ideation, to execution, our core capabilities go beyond the average list of PR services.

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London Centre For Public Affairs (LCPA) offers customised PR campaigns which includes a wide range os services that help raise the profile of your organisation.