Bad Press: A Reputation Management Case Study

A client came to me a couple years ago regarding a problem he was having when people searched for his name on Google. In his prior job, he was accused of sexual harassment and the local newspapers had published articles about the case that included his name in the articles. This created a huge online reputation management problem for him.

The sexual harassment case was dropped, his name was cleared, but the newspaper articles still showed up when someone searched for his name on the Internet. Because of this whole ordeal, he had decided to move and apply for a new job in a different part of the country. He was afraid that even though his name was cleared from the previous case that his potential new employers would find the articles about the case and that it would prevent him from being hired.

What needed to be done here was to create loads of content using his name as the main keyword. He told me that he had looked into hiring a professional online reputation management service, but they wanted thousands of dollars to help him with his problem.

I created a strategy for him and got him started on a campaign to bury the embarrassing articles tied to his name. To kick start the effort, I used some forum spamming software to create a load of profiles on forum websites in his name and claimed a bunch of Web 2.0 blogs and social media profiles in his name as well.

I then instructed him on what to do to combat the bad press he had received using the profiles and websites I had set up for him and he took over the campaign from there.

Within a few months, the articles about the old case containing his name were buried way deep in the search results and he had landed the new job he wanted.

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