An Orlando, Florida, company found itself in hot water and struggling to recruit new employees. The job board website and software development company sought the PR expertise and ReputationRestoration services of Axia Public Relations to help repair its troubled online reputation.
With the combination of an owner with a controversial past and an unclear and “complicated” hiring process that caused many applicants to assume that the company was a scam, the client needed a PR firm to clean up its image and, specifically, the first page of Google search results to improve its first impression with prospective clients, employment applicants, media and the community.
Axia recommended the following PR objectives to the client:
- Using the media to tell the story of the company’s success, rapid growth and news, including its hiring of 500 employees, making donations and being a great place to work
- Creating and promoting positive content over negative content on Google and other search engines
- Helping the client attract better candidates more quickly for the additional talent (500 employees) it needed
- Helping the client recruit more and better customers/advertisers more quickly to its online job board platforms, including a new website product launch
Instead of simply cleaning up the company’s negative online image and reputation, Axia provided a more strategic communication strategy, proactively addressing the issues and complaints shared online and clarifying the company’s message, hiring practices and employment opportunities.
Phase 1, a 30-day campaign, focused exclusively on improving the local story and community perception. Axia leveraged its contacts in the local central Florida and Orlando news media to generate earned media coverage for the client, allowing it to share its unique story with the news media, including the story of its growth, innovation, expansion and success.
Phase 2 focused on overall company news and earning local media coverage as well as help with SEO and reputation management to demote negative items and promote positive items on Google. To do this, Axia leveraged social media channels and optimized other online assets to help control the first pages of search engine page results (SEPR).
Phase 3 allowed Axia to tell the company’s expansion story to the national business media and to the industry trade media as well as assist the company in entering for and winning awards. The public relations firm also provided support for a new product launch.
Axia delivered results and quickly impressed the client. The client enjoyed being able to tell its side of the story via the PR agency, which had the contacts and credibility to facilitate such open dialog. This cleared the aura of “scam” and suspicion. According to Nasdaq Media Intelligence, the PR campaign earned more than 100 news stories, including three print articles, one TV broadcast and more than 90 online and social media mentions, creating more than 78,713,184 impressions. The coverage had an earned publicity value of approximately $1.2 million, according to Nasdaq.
During the PR campaign, the client’s new website product launch made it “the fastest website in history to reach one million users,” according to company officials, citing that the feat took less than 3.5 months. In contrast, music streaming platform Spotify took five months to reach this milestone. Dropbox took seven months; Facebook: 10 months; Pinterest: 20 months; and Twitter: 24 months. Within three years, the website attracted more than 10 million users.
More importantly, the company was able to continue its growth and expansion by repositioning its external communications to employment candidates and became more transparent about who the company is and what it does. In addition, Axia was able to better communicate the client’s strong and unique employee-focused and community-giving-focused culture.