What can PR professionals learn from this story? Given the importance of user reviews for products like books, it should serve as a cautionary tale to authors and literary publicists—but it could apply to any product that relies on such reviews for PR purposes. It reveals the significant power of coordinated online smear campaigns to damage reputations and depress sales numbers.
Excellent cautionary tale. Of course, it’s 2012, not 2002 or even 1992, so we are stuck with the online smear culture as a tactic of the douchebaggery. The importance of this, though, is to understand that it exists and as you roll out your marketing plans, this is a contingency that you will have to plan for.
The lesson: just because it sounds ridiculous, doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen.