The Complete Do-It-Youself Internet Reputation Management Workbook published on Kindle

Don Martin’s (author) Internet Reputation Management workbook was published as a Kindle e-book on Amazon.com January 1, 2014.  The Kindle book can be seen here.

Austin, TX,  January 03, 2014 –(PR.com)– For the first time “The Completely Do-It-Yourself Internet Reputation Management Workbook” is available as a Kindle e-book through Amazon.com. The book is for sale at a considerable reduced price and available to a much wider market through its Kindle publishing.

By Austin, Texas author Don Martin, of Don Martin Public Affairs, in a somewhat humorous and step-by-step process Kindle offers a workbook for Internet reputation management and repair, including moving down negative materials in the search engine rankings, buying domain names, creating websites for free, keyword and longtail keyword selection, Search Engine Optimization, use of WordPress, legal issues, a full in-depth Glossary and much more.

The book is for individuals and small businesses who lack significant technical background but who can easily do all of the steps themselves, most of them for free.

Are negative things being said about you online? Are nasty reviews and false rumors hurting your chances to succeed? Are personal facts about you displayed online?

Nothing is more valuable than your personal reputation. Yet the Internet can destroy your reputation in an instant, The fact is that you can fix your Internet reputation with a few simple steps outlined in this new Kindle book.

Be careful what you say in social media

Miami Heat Owner Fined $500,000 for Tweets

Miami Heat owner Micky Arison has been fined $500,000 for venting on Twitter about the NBA lockout.

The fine — believed to be the largest ever levied against an owner
by the NBA — came after Arison responded to a fan’s tweet. That original message
read: “How’s it feel to be a part [sic] of ruining the best game in the world?
NBA owners/players don’t give a damn about fans&and guess what? Fans
provide all the money you’re fighting over&you greedy [expletive] pigs.”

In response, Arison tweeted that the fan was “barking at the wrong
owner,” a reference to the divide between NBA chiefs, according to
Yahoo Sports. Arison deleted the tweet an hour after he sent it Monday, but it
still caught the league’s attention.

The NBA has barred team owners and coaches from discussing the
lockout or any players during the work stoppage. Coaches and general managers
also $1 million fine and a possible loss of draft picks for
retweeting any players during the lockout.

Arison is now the third owner the NBA has fined. Wizards owner Ted
Leonsis got a $100,000 fine last year for comments about possible changes to the
league’s salary cap. Michael Jordan, owner of the Bobcats, also got a $100,000
fine for comments he made in August about the lockout.

Players are under no such constraint and several, including
Oklahoma City Thunder reserve center Nazr Mohammed, Detroit Pistons forward
Tracy McGrady and Kyrie Irving, the top pick in the June amateur draft, have
been using Twitter to express their discontent.

 

 

 

Top Ten Do’s and Dont’s from Reputation.com

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t post compromising photos on your Facebook. It should go without saying but also don’t  tweet them or post them on Flickr or email them.  You may think that only your recipient will see them.  Think again.
  2. Don’t make hasty comments online forums or on other people’s blog posts. Although some online groups and forums let you edit your comments for a short time afterward (very few of them) once it’s up there , you can’t take it back. Sometimes there is no way to pull your foot  out of your virtual mouth.
  3. Don’t try to confront an obviously intentional online attacker/detractor directly. If someone really wants to get at you,
    anything you do might provoke him further. And the more he puts out there, the more people will see it, link to it and spread it around, and the higher it will go up in the search engine rankings.
  4. Don’t underestimate the number of people searching for you online. According to a Microsoft poll from 2010, 79% of recruiters and hiring managers in the US have used social networking sites and blog searches to screen out candidates. 7 out of 10 adults have searched for information about someone online.
  5. Don’t assume that everyone shares you sense of humor.
    It’s not just that different people respond – and take offense —  to different types of humor. You yourself may look back on something you thought was hilarious months or years ago and not find it funny anymore.

Do’s:

  1. Establish a presence on social networks. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the most popular, and each serves a different
    purpose. If you want to jump in with both feet, there are plenty of others to explore and engage in. And be sure to keep them all updated.  Search engines favor more recent content.
  2. Start a blog, or two on personal or professional topics. Be sure to  link between them and also link to your website and back.   These are great backlink opportunties. Update them frequently with stories, tips or relevant news items. And make (carefully considered) comments on other blogs with topics similar to yours.
  3. Regularly monitor your online reputation. You can set up a Google alert to let you know whenever a new mention of you pops up online.  And other (paid) services, like Radian6 offer more sophisticated tools to help you track and control what shows up.
  4. Try to get inaccurate information changed or removed. If someone  says  something about you that is misleading or just wrong – in a Facebook or blog post, for example – ask them nicely to correct their mistake or take the content down.
  5. Keep your social networks healthy. Make a conscious choice about which friend and connection requests you accept – and initiate.  Your friends and their online presence can reflect on you.  Parse and pare down your networks.  While it may look impressive to have hundreds of LinkedIn connections and thousands of Facebook friends, when it comes to your online reputation, focus on quality over quantity.
  6. Remember the Internet never forgets. You can take the old frat party photos down but you can’t delete them from everywhere.  You never know when nostalgia hits and an impelling an old friend to forward the pics to their pals at work, and so on. Assume that anything you ever post or email or tweet will live on somewhere, forever.
Excerpts reprinted with permission.
Reputation.com, Inc. © 2011
See also Reputation Workbook

for more examples and information.

Cyber Bullying a Major Problem

Poll: Online world is a pretty mean one:

Study finds most young people have been the victims of cyberbullying

Girl at laptop from cyber bullying article
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine had her first brush with an online bully in seventh grade, even before she ws using the Internet.  Somebody set up a screen name,  “devinegirl,” posing as Catherine, sent messages full of trash talk and lies and rumors to her friends and schoolmates.  “They were making things up about me, and I was the most innocent 12-year-old ever,” Devine remembers.

Devine, now 22, learned to thrive in the Internet and in ocial MEdia sites, like Facebook and MySpace.  But like other young people, she occasionally stumbles into one of its dark alleys.

An Associated Press poll of youth in their teens and early 20s finds that most of them — 56 percent — have been the target of some type of online taunting, harassment or bullying.

Read more  Here

Reputation management on a budget

(I apologize for the length of this posting but I think that this  is useful step-by-step information.  Lately we have gotten more and more clients who have online reputation problems for us to fix.   This article is also on my new Reputation Workbook web page and in a much longer, detailed format in my coming soon Internet Reputation Management Workbook.)

Reputation management on a budget

by Don Martin

Suppose you have virtually no buget, such as a student about whom something negative gets posted and re-posted on-line.  The kind of thing that might come back to bite you when you go to look for a first job out of college. After all 80% of HR directors search the Internet before making a hirng decision. Here’s what I would advise that you can do for yourself in a few evenings:

1.  Sign up for a Google alert for your name along with the offending key phrase. Set it to email you “as it happens” so you’ll get an email every time your name and the negative phrase are mentioned online,  both to know what’s beineg said, and also so you can see how you’re doing with your repair work.

2. Get social! As a student you probably already are, but go in and clean-up that MySpace or Facebook page. Take down anything vulger or childish or petty and especially undesireable photos (although they never actually go away).   If your social sites are not in your actual name, then start new pages with your real name at least for Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, Google Profiles, and Squidoo.  Simply follow the instuctions on each one. Doing all of them shouldn’t take longer than an hour or two, but instead spread this out over at least two or three nights, or better yet over a week or two.  Search engines don’t want to think they are being spammed.

3.   Original content. When it comes to your bio or other content that you insert into the social sites, make absolutely certain that you don’t copy and paste the same text from one site to another. Search engines will severely penalize you for not being original.  Just make sure you change each one up a little bit.  Or a lot is fine too.  This is especially true for other links and web sites you create later on.

4. Buy your own domain. It’s easy. Go to http://godaddy.com and search for your name as a “.com” domain (such as “www.johndoe.com” or “www.john-doe.com” or use a middle initial until you find a suitable domain, then buy the name!  You can usually buy the name for $10 per yeat, or sometimes less.  This is valuable web real estate that you’ll want to own forever.  Buy it before someone else does!

5. Create a website. If you got a few dollars, while you’re at GoDaddy, sign up for web hosting of your domain (about $5/month for a basic site – $60 per year – which is all you’ll need).  And be sure you that you also sign up for WordPress (it’s free) as the web page software you will using. That’s why I recommend GoDaddy.  The site will take care of all the work of setting up the hosting of your web site, downloading WordPress to your new web domain for you, and installing it. All in few minutes. WordPress is used universally, it is free, is exceptionally easy to learn right away, yet is is also extremely powerful, has unlimited themes to create your site in minutes, and has thousands of really cool and useful  “plug ins” (you’ll learn about his later, trust me.)  To start, go to “Themes” and selct a theme of your choice (the first one listed is just fine and very flexible.  It’s what I use.).

7. Content. Content, content, content.  Content is King on the Internet.   Create a professional bio page, and perhaps a page about your favorite interest, or an article that has been printed about you if you have one or two, and of course a contact page.  And a blog.  Content is extremely valuable so do some hard thinking about this.  What do you already have already in written form, or can write about? Try to find anything recent, and of course accurate!   Blogs are a great way to add “fresh” content to your website ona regular basis.

Links: Now you have to get your site noticed.  Create links from your web page to all your social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Squidoo, , etc.   Just write a sentence somewhere such as in your bio by typing in http://www.johndoe.com and you have created a simple link.   But links TO your website are even more critical,  so on all of your social sites put in a link back to your web page.  Google search programs want to see that your site is linked to other sites and vice versa (showing that your website is “popular.”)

8. Start a Blog. Start a blog page on your domain using WordPress.   In WordPress each blog entry is called a Post (as opposed to Pages).  It’s is simplicity itself to create a quick, short blog entry. Try for maybe 100 words, about you, or about a facinating article you’ve read,  a non-controversal current even, articles about you….  Try to post something twice a week.  Or once a month if that’s all you can do. What you are doing is keeping your website “fresh” with new content which is a key criteria that the search bots are looking for.  Soon your page will be rising further up the list of search results, Hopefully you are slowly dominating the first page of search results when anyone Google’s your name.  And that starts  “pushing down” the negative infomration to below the first page of results. That’s the goal.  By now you ought to have maybe 10- 15 entries in your name — the social media sites, your webpage, your blog, and perhaps links others will make for you from their page to yours. — and atypical Goole search as 15 websites on the first page.  Over 75% of people doing search never go to the second page

9.) Search Engine Optimization. One reason to use WordPress is my favorite plug-in —  the All-in-one-SEO” plug-in.   Go to the “Plug-ins” section in your WordPress dashboard,  look it up by name and then select it.  It will download and install itself!  How cool is that?   This gives you boxes where you can fill in a page title, page description and keywords for each page of your website that will all go into the internal coding of the site — without you having to be a programmer.  Here’s where you’ll use your creativity to make sure the search engine “bots” find you and your important keywords. So give it some thought.  There are some serious pitfalls re keywords and how to fill in the boxes so just use the basic ones first.  I’ll cover this in much greater detail in my workbok.

10. Keep working. Negative posts don’t disappear overnight, but if they are not too severe or too widespread, the steps above may be all that it takes.  But your long-term success depends on being persistent and also creating fresh content.  Make a point to update one of your social sites too, and your web page every so often, and to post a new blog item each week or two if you can.

Best wishes.   — Don Martin  (dmartin@donmartin.com)

See also:  www.Reputation-Fix.com for more examples, articles and my blog www.reputation-fix.com/blog .  (See how cleverly I worked that into this article!)

 

Lies, Rumors and Propaganda

One inherent challenge of having an Internet presence for a business is the possibility of someone posting rumors, lies or deliberate propaganda about you.  So, what is the difference?

Rumors and lies are typically organic and viral. Typically, there’s no organized campaign with funding and muscle. Instead, it’s usually fueled by water-cooler gossip, e-mail chains and other person-to-person contact that begins to grow and gets bigger, sometimes taking on a life of its own.  Sometimes these are deliberate lies posted by former or disgruntled employees, for example.

There are numerous ways to deal with such information as long as you act quickly, be pro-active instead of burying your head in the sand,  and tell the truth. The best defense, however is often a good offense.  Having a good website, in advance, puts your company at the top of the Google or Yahoo search (among others) and keeps the bad information further down in the search list.

With additional work, this incorrect news can be moved even further down the search list as you are meanwhile addressing the lies or rumors forthrightly and openly.

A good website also gives you a ready  forum for discrediting the rumor or lie. Some companies have “Dark Pages” — a page already designed  ready to go to respond to a falsehood by inserting the relevent information and then quickly turning the page on to “go live.”

Propaganda is different. It’s an organized effort to manipulate the public using mass media, including the Internet, using misinformation, half-truths and deliberate lies.  Propaganda often relies on images and emotions, especially fear.

The best known examples of propaganda come from government efforts during wars, with the most famous being posters during World War I and World War II. A big problem in war is making the population — especially civilians drafted into soldiers — see the enemy as something less than human.

Propaganda works by tapping into emotions through images, slogans and a selective use of the facts.

Corporations, competitors, activist groups or individuals, and political campaigns will sometimes be tempted into using these techniques.  The effect of such propaganda campaigns against you can be devastating to your business, or even fatal, if you don’t act fast.  So you need to know how to counter them.

That’s where we come in.

How to get journalists to tell your story

 

HOW TO: Get Journalists To Tell Your Story

 

 

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum,

Any press may be good press, but good press is even better. Yet, how do you stand out among your competitors and catch the attention of journalists? The traditional route is to pitch your story directly to reporters and hope it’s compelling enough that they’ll bite, or to offer your expertise around breaking news topics with your fingers crossed that the reporter is even working on a story about whatever that might be. Another option, however, is to respond to requests on sites that connect reporters with sources.

The most well-known of those is probably Help a Reporter Out (HARO). Started by Peter Shankman in 2008, it now connects over 100,000 sources with nearly 30,000 journalists (and brings in more than a million dollars per year in revenue). There are others, too — Media Kitty (which is older than HARO), FlackList, ProfNet (perhaps the oldest of the bunch), NewsBasis and Reporter Connection, are among the most active. These communities have grown so popular, that it’s now difficult for sources to stand out on these platforms, as well.

We spoke with Heather Kirk, the founder of Media Kitty, and Jennifer Nichols, CEO of FlackList, to get some tips on how sources can improve their chances of being noticed when responding to queries from journalists.


1. Be Fast


Speed matters when it comes to catching the eye of a busy journalist for two reasons. First, he is probably operating on deadline, so getting connected to a solid source quickly is important. Second, there are a huge number of other qualified sources trying to catch his eye at the same time. The last time I used one of these sites to find interviewees for a story, I received more than 100 email responses in the first six hours. That’s a lot to sort through, and the further out from my query, the more likely it was that I had already found the sources I needed to complete my piece.

“Respond as soon as you see the query and well before the deadline,” advises Nichols. “Once a reporter has what he/she needs, he doesn’t usually continue sifting through query responses.”

Being quick is also the number one piece of advice from HARO founder, Peter Shankman.


2. Be On Target

One thing all journalists universally hate is having their time wasted. Make sure when responding to a query on any of the aforementioned sites that your pitch is on target. Journalists are looking for sources that match their needs, not people who maybe, sort of, might have some expertise in a kind of, semi-related area.“Don’t respond to a query unless what you are offering is truly a fit,” says Nichols, who advises that responses be kept to the point and devoid of fluff, but still full of relevant information. “The trick here is to still keep it short while including the pertinent info.”

Kirk also advises keeping the clutter out of your pitch and finding a unique — but still germane — angle to set yourself apart. “Relevant, researched and realistic replies score best. Attaching their hook to your material is key — colorful examples, links to fitting images, engaging background briefs and on-target experts with clout, character and ready accessibility all help set you apart,” she says.


3. Be Honest


“Don’t bait and switch,” says Nichols. “If you offer an executive for an interview, make sure you can deliver. Reporters don’t have the time or patience for your CEO to somehow now be on a plane to Rome and have only an assistant VP able to chat.”

Coming off as dishonest is the best way to sour what could have been a long-term relationship with a reporter. If a journalist doesn’t think he can trust you, there’s very little incentive to ever quote you (or your client) as an expert in the future.

“Many sources see every journalist lead as an opportunity to finagle their way into publicity, jazz up their client reports or nurture new contacts. Leads can offer all of these, but only if you tackle replies with transparency and sincerity,” notes Kirk.


4. Be Personal

Remember that when using these types of source-matching sites, yours is likely one of hundreds of responses that the reporter has received. Sometimes a personal touch goes a long way toward making you stand out from the crowd.“A well-written, personalized and targeted response where there is a clear fit will get you noticed,” says Kirk.

Similarly, Nichols advises Googling journalists before pitching them to familiarize yourself with what they write. “Check out the style of their stories and how they typically present info and mimic that in your pitch,” she says.


5. Be Precise


Make sure your responses are accessible. No reporter has time to sift through a wordy or poorly composed pitch to try to find that nugget of expertise or the unique perspective that you might be able to offer. Craft a response that is straightforward and to the point and you’ll increase your chances of being tapped as a source.

“Make your reply easy to scan with bullet points and rich context. Rather than bulk up an email with attachments that call for an extra step to open and review, links are handier. Keep your response lean yet workable, colorful yet specific. Look for niche services that tailor to specific beats to up your odds even more,” says Kirk.

What other tips do you have for being a good source? Let us know in the comments.

What is a Blog?

Welcome to my  blog.  So what IS a  blog? A blog is nothing more than a post, a note, an article, a story or anything of interest to your customers or target audience. You can post a blog hourly,  daily, weekly, monthy or just randomly whenever the mood strikes you.  It is so easy and simple.

PS - Sadly the famous flamingos, at Bee Cave Rd and Loop 360, are now gone.