PR Response Via Adwords?
from the that's-one-tactic dept
I vaguely recall a similar story a couple years ago, though now I can’t find it, but the Nieman Journalism Lab has an article about how PR folks are starting to use targeted Google AdWords buys to respond to negative press coverage. It doesn’t seem like this sort of thing would really be all that effective, but the article discusses a PR guy who bought up AdWords on a variety of related keywords for the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council, after the NY Times came out with a negative story about overfishing. Of course, it looks like the guy also went over the line, claiming in one ad that the NY Times “apologizes for story,” when the truth is that it just apologized for its use of a photograph it didn’t have the rights to — not the story itself. Amusingly, the guy also buys the reporters’ own names as keywords in running his ads. I could see how that might intimidate the journalists (if they’re particularly thin-skinned) but it’s not really clear how that actually helps get the “other side” out.
What was potentially more interesting is that the NY Times (unlike many other newspaper websites) actually linked to the Council’s website within the story, and the Council changed the page that clickers ended up on to a rebuttal to the NY Times story, whereas before it had just been a page about the type of fish in question. That seems like a smart move by the Fish Council, though it makes you realize why some publications might be skeptical about linking out, especially when whoever operates the site being linked to has the opportunity to change the site.