Highlighting An Old Strategy: AdWords As PR Spin Tool

Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab reminds people of an old PR strategy: buying AdWords to combat negative reporting in the press. The article highlights how a trade organization (the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council) combatted a negative story in the NY Times about over fishing. When people searched on selected keywords associated with the story, trade group’s AdWords campaign […]

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Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab reminds people of an old PR strategy: buying AdWords to combat negative reporting in the press. The article highlights how a trade organization (the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council) combatted a negative story in the NY Times about over fishing. When people searched on selected keywords associated with the story, trade group’s AdWords campaign appeared:

The New York Times reported on its front page in September that hoki, an unattractive sea creature best known as the primary ingredient in the Filet-O-Fish, is at risk of depletion. Naturally, the New Zealand companies that farm hoki by the metric ton weren’t pleased by the article, which pointed to “ominous signs of overfishing” . . .

[T]he New Zealand Seafood Industry Council took an approach I hadn’t seen before: buying Google ads for keywords like new zealand hoki and hoki new york times.

The ads sought to target people discussing or searching for more information about the story . . .

The landing page in this case was a rebuttal of the NY Times’ story. The PR agency behind the campaign has previously used aggressive tactics, including using reporters names in AdWords copy:

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But the larger tactic is certainly valid: using AdWords as a counterpoint to negative publicity and stories that will appear in organic search results. 



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About the author

Greg Sterling
Contributor
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land, a member of the programming team for SMX events and the VP, Market Insights at Uberall.

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