QR codes                          

Most of you know how high I am on QR codes – the wave of the future that is already here.  I use them in my mail and brochures and even on my website, and now Home Depot and Best Buy are using them on **every** product label in their stores.  But I hadn’t thought about the politicical uses until now.  Such as for:QR code for Don Martin Public Affairs

*Field organizing
*Merchandise, and

See this Mashable article at :

Reputation management on a budget                            

Obviously we’ll talk about this in much greater detail later on, but suppose you have virtually no buget, such as a student for whom something negative gets posted and re-posted on-line.  The kind of thing that might come back to bite you when you look for a first job out of college. Here’s what I would advise that you can do for yourself in one or two evenings:

1.  Sign up for a Google alert for your name along with the offending key phrase. Set it to email you “as it happens” so you’ll get an email every time your name and negative phrase is mentioned, so you can see how you’re doing.

2. Get social!  As a student you probably already are, but go in and clean-up that MySpace or Facebook page. Take down anything vulger or childish and especially undesireable photos (although they never actually go away).   If your social sites are not in your actual name, then start new pages with your real name at Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, Google Profiles, and Squidoo.  Simply follow the instuctions on each one. Doing all of them shouldn’t take longer than an hour or two, but spread this out over at least two or three nights, but better yet over a week.  Search engines don’t want to think they are being spammed.

3.   Original content. When it comes to your bio or other content that you insert into the social sites, make absolutely certain that you don’t copy and paste the same text from one site to another. Search engines will severely penalize you for not being original.  Just make sure you change each one up a little bit.  Or a lot is fine too.  This is especially true for other links and web sites you create later on.

4. Buy your own domain.  It’s easy. Go to and search for your name as a “.com” domain (such as “” or “” and buy the name!  You can usually buy the name for $10 or less.  This is valuable web real estate that you’ll want to own forever.  Buy it before someone else does!

5. Create a website.   While you’re at GoDaddy, sign up for web hosting of your domain (under $5/month for a basic site) and be sure you that you sign up for WordPress (for free) as the web page software. Thaat’s why I recommend GoDaddy.  The site will take care of all the work of downloading WordPress to your new web domai for you. WordPress is used universally, is free, is exceptionally easy to learn right away, yet is is also extremely powerful, has unlimited themes to create your site in minutes, and has thousands of really cool and useful  “plug ins” (you’ll learn about his later, trust me.)

7. Content.  Have fun learning and it’s far easier than you might think. But you need content.  Create a bio page, or a page about your favorite interest perhaps, or an article that has been printed about you if you have one or two, and of course a contact page. Content is king, so try to find anything recent, and of course accurate!  Each tab you want on your site is called a “Page” in WordPress. Even a three page website is fine for now.

Links:  For good measure create links to your social sites such as Facebook and Linked In.  Then on all of your social sites put n alink back to your web page.  Google search programs want to see that your site is linked to other sites and vice versa (showing that your website is “popular.”)

8. Start a Blog.  Start a blog page on your domain using WordPress. Each blog entry is called a Post (as opposed to pages).  It’s is simplicity itself to create a quick, short blog entry. Try for maybe 100 words, about a subject that interests you.  Once or twice a week is fine.  Or once a month. What you are doing is keeping your website fresh which is a key criteria that the search bots are looking for.  Soon your page will be rising further up the list of search results, hopefully to the first page of results when you search your name.  And “pushing down” the negative infomration to below the first page of results. That’s the goal.

9.) Search Engine Optimization.   One reason to use WordPress is my favorite –  the “All-in-one-SEO” plug-in.  Go to “Plug-ins” section in your WordPress dashboard,  look it up by name and then select it.  It will download and install itself!  How cool is that?   This gives you boxes where you can fill in a page title, page description and keywords for each page of your website that will all go into the internal coding of the site — without you having to be a programmer.  Here’s where you’ll use your creativity to make sure the search engine “bots” find you and your important keywords. So give it some thought.

10. Keep working.  Negative posts don’t disappear overnight, but if they are not too severe or too widespread, the steps above may be all that it takes.  But your long-term success depends on being persistent and also creating fresh content.  Make a point to update one of your social sites or your web page every so often, and to post a new blog item each week or two.

Best wishes.     — Don Martin (






Here’s an excellent article on Online Reputation Management from Wax Blog

“This weekend Nick Bilton wrote a piece about companies that are providing Online Reputation Management services called “Erasing the Digital Past” He continues on in a blog post today discussing how one’s online reputation may be the modern day credit report.”

As a publicist, dealing with a client’s online history has become a bigger and bigger part of my job and next week I’ll be announcing a service to help people improve their online reputations and search results. I remember a client of mine several years ago who was launching her first book based on her experiences as a Silicon Valley executive and lifecoach. These careers were after a rather successful one as a lingerie model, that included appearances in Howard Stern videos and some Playboy publications.  Although her married name showed no results, once we found her maiden name online it turned out some of her photos were even being used as cellphone wallpaper!Frustrated woman with laptop

That may be a drastic example, but as most people know Google alerts are simply not enough. We know that company’s like Toyota are quite skilled at burying bad news and poor press, as I wrote about in a February 2010 post. We may not all have advertising budgets like Toyota, but there are many things you can do to clean up your reputation online fast.

On Thursday I’ll give you some tips based on what we do for clients, to create an image online that’s just as wonderful as your image in person.

The first task, however, is to understand how to determine the current state of your online reputation.  Here’s how.  Go to out new website at  Reputation Workbook



Former Do-It-Yourself Internet Reputation Management Workbook is Now Available as a Kindle E-Book on

The Complete Do-It-Yourself Internet Reputation Management Workbook, by Austin Texas author Don Martin (Don Martin Public Affairs), previously a self-published book, is now available as a Kindle e-book on  The book is for sale at a considerably reduced price and available to a much wider market through Kindle publishing.
Austin, TX,  January 03, 2014 –(– For the first time “The Completely Do-It-Yourself Internet Reputation Management Workbook” is available as a Kindle e-book through The book is for sale at a considerable reduced price and available to a much wider market through its Kindle publishing.Online cover
By Austin, Texas author Don Martin, of Don Martin Public Affairs, in a somewhat humorous and step-by-step process Kindle offers a workbook for Internet reputation management and repair, including moving down negative materials in the search engine rankings, buying domain names, creating websites for free, keyword and longtail keyword selection, Search Engine Optimization, use of WordPress, legal issues, a full in-depth Glossary and much more.
The book is for individuals and small businesses who lack significant technical background but who can easily do all of the steps themselves, most of them for free…..
See the remainder of this article at: