In days of yore, when reporters were writing articles they had to make dozens of telephone calls to track down celebrities and their public relations representatives to get contextual quotes. However today, reporters have started taking quotes for their articles directly from the web--making it more important than ever that high profile individuals know how to craft their online reputation and use social media to their advantage.
While it’s easy to imagine how this new type of reporting could get out of hand--tweets taken out of context and facebook posts altered for articles--these powerful new online publishing platforms also have the ability to help set the record straight and be effective crisis management tools.
Take the case of celebrity Lindsay Lohan and her x-girlfriend Sam for example. When RadarOnline, an online celebrity gossip magazine, published an article about Lindsay’s x-girlfriend beating and chocking her, Lindsey took the web. She tweeted, "This is become a bit much...Samantha R never raised a hand to me. I've never said she did. Enough is Enough. Focus on more important world issues." Shortly after publishing this tweet, a more popular news source, US Magazine, picked the story up and published her tweets online--allowing Lindsey to set the record straight.
By having an established presence online, Lindsay Lohan was able to communicate directly with her fans and the reporters always following her every move. She no longer has to wait for someone to contact her and write a favorable story because she can use twitter, facebook and other social media to connect directly with her fans and set the record straight. In addition, Lindsay’s tweets also created the space for Sam, her x-girlfriend, to respond publicly and now the two have a unified public presence denouncing RaderOnline’s accusations.
While it is possible to manage your own online reputation, as Lindsay did in this case, their are also many services that help celebrities and high profile business people set the record straight. For example, by registering for LookupPage, users have the ability to create a webpage with positive content and track who views their profile online. In addition, LookupPage has one of the highest rankings on Google, so every user that signs up can be sure that their positive profile will be at the top of their Google CV, an accessible place for internet reporters and followers.