Chris Anderson, author of the Long Tail writes:
"For a generation of customers used to doing their buying research via search engine, a company’s brand is not what the company says it is, but what Google says it is. The new tastemakers are us. Word of mouth is now a public conversation, carried in blog comments and customer reviews, exhaustively collated and measured. The ants have megaphones."
Let us see this theory put into practice.
How much lasting damage has the firm suffered to its online profile as a result of the fallout?
Let us do a Google Search of "Reed Smith" to find out.
Whilst the situation is fluid, on page 1 of a Google Search this entry appears at number 9:
|In one of my posts yesterday about Reed Smith's termination of Denise Howell, ... They show huge surges in blogger mentions of Reed Smith and Denise Howell ...|
www.legaline.com/2006/07/reed-smiths-blogger-buzz.html - 21k -
Go to page 2 and the entries from 13 to 16 are as follows:
|Denise Howell leaving Reed Smith July 16, 2006. Denise M. Howell Denise Howell, a beacon to law bloggers, says her law firm fired her. ...|
www.lawmemo.com/blog/2006/07/denise_howell_l.html - 23k -
|Reed Smith fired Denise Howell, a leading blogger, IP lawyer, ... Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'Reed Smith launches women's career forum ...|
I'd be scared as hell if I was working at Reed Smith and this guy was the ... Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'Reed Smith Internet ...
reed-smith-internet-discussion-up-50-upon-firing-of-lead-blogger/ - 34k - Cached - Similar pages
|Saturday, I learned on Denise's blog, Bag and Baggage, that Reed Smith had ... Since Reed Smith has engaged in some merger activity recently and there were ...|
Where is the response of the firm to Denise Howell on Google? I understand that one was made but it is not easy to find.
The problem that the law firm faces is that with the ever increasing importance of an online profile, irrespective of whether the firm was justified or not in firing Ms. Howell, it now has a negative online profile.
Hopefully from the firm's point of view, other news will come to surround Reed Smith when would be clients and staff do an online search. But for the time being, the organisation's online profile is damaged goods.