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Improving a staffing software company’s negative online reputation

Posted by Lauren Budik


A tech company was struggling to recruit new employees due to its negative online reputation. Axia leveraged the media to share the company’s success and rapid growth story, creating and promoting positive over negative content on search engines. Axia’s efforts created more than 78.7 million impressions for the client.



With the combination of an owner with a controversial past and a complicated hiring process that caused many applicants to assume the company was a scam, the company needed a PR firm to clean up its image and, specifically, its online reputation to improve its first impression with prospective clients, employment applicants, media, and the community who were "window shopping" the company.



Axia recommended the following four PR objectives to its client:

  1. Use 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
  2. Create and promote positive content over negative content on Google and other search engines
  3. Help the client attract better candidates more quickly for the additional talent (500 employees) it needed
  4. Help the client recruit more and better customers/advertisers 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.


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 winning awards. The public relations firm also provided support for a new product launch.



Axia delivered results and quickly impressed its 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 dialogue. 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 78.7 million impressions. 


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 to 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-focused culture.


This case study included $1.2 million in AVE. Axia prefers better metrics to show the value of earned media coverage. Check out why you should stop using AVE to measure earned media coverage.


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Topics: media relations, reputation management, most popular case studies, thought leadership, technology, professional services, medium companies, private companies, Orlando, consumer services, B2B, B2C, staffing firm, software, e-commerce, web marketing

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