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Necessity of Online Reputation Management

Katharine Seelye has a story in today’s NY Times about how organizations and individuals are using the web to set the record straight when they’re unhappy with how the mainstream media covers them, primarily by posting source material like interview transcripts online to give those interested a way to get more insight into the process of journalism.

She does not mention the use of MP3 files or recorded interviews, something that is being done by a number of organizations already, including Podshow. This idea was suggested originally to me by Andy Lark in his NewCommForum keynote last year in Napa. I am hoping to bring my Marantz PMD660 to CES (who is doing their own podcast) tomorrow to record a number of interviews I have arranged for clients exhibiting at the expo.

As the founder of iPressroom, which has tools and services for setting the record straight on the Net, it is refreshing that this idea finally appears to coming to popular attention. I have been evangelizing using websites to protect corporate reputations for over five years — often it feels to marketing and PR execs who appear (at least to me) to struggle to grasp the importance of this communications channel — and looks as though the tide has shifted.

Interestingly enough, the article quotes only one PR exec, in this case Howard Rubenstein, about how the public relations industry views online communications, which is a little disenheartening, particularly given that there are so many outspoken, lucid intellectuals weighing in on this trend daily on the blogosphere.

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