Feeding the Internet Troll
I had an interesting “discussion” online over the weekend. How Do, The North West Online PR and Marketing Magazine published an account win story. Fairly standard stuff. Fudge, the design agency, placed a press release with How Do about us winning their online marketing contract. This really is pretty standard PR stuff. I read How Do so noticed it and thought I’d do the usual commentary “We’re chuffed to be working with Fudge” etc etc. Which we are. They do good work and being associated with them certainly helps our credibility.
And then out came the Troll!
So what to do? Ignore it and leave the commentary negative? Fly off the handle and Flame the Troll? Cry?
In the end, curiosity was the driving factor. What was the guys problem? There was no substance to his diatribe so I was pretty sure I was on safe ground. I wasn’t going to get caught with my trousers down. Clearly an opportunity for some defensive online PR. So I fed the troll. What was he so upset about? I was assuming ‘he’ by the way. The tone and language of his comments seemed very male though I could be wrong.
He bit. So far, he’s made a number of very loose allegations which are unsupported. The very key piece is that he has ended up feeding me opportunities to talk about the credibility points of my client. Because it’s an ongoing conversation on the How Do site, more people are reading it, because it’s a busy thread. Those reading it are now checking out our website. Good relevant traffic and some direct contact from clients and potential clients.
When pitching, I often paraphrase Wilde. “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about”. Very relevant in the online marketing world. I’m fairly certain that most conversations about you can be turned to your advantage as long as you are open and honest.
Using Google alerts is a great way of finding opportunities. At its’ simplest level, just set the alert to search for your business name, or you as a person and the work will be done for you.