Moggy bothering Royal Bank of Scotland employee Mary Bale hit the headlines this week.
If you’re unaware of who she is, she’s the mumsy 45-year-old who was caught on CCTV disposing of a neighbour’s cat in a wheelie bin.
In the hilarious yet disturbing footage, she is seen petting fuzzy bundle of fur Lola, lulling her into a false sense of security, before grasping her by the scruff of the neck and popping her into the bin like a balled up chip wrapper.
The cat was rescued 15 hours later by her owners, and they posted the video on Facebook in a bid to find out who had mistreated their precious pet. Bale was soon identified and, after defending her actions by proclaiming “it was only a cat”, saw the error of her ways and apologised profusely.
We’ll never really know her motives. Her elderly father is known to be ill in hospital, so she may have acted on an impulse to have some element of control in her life. She may have mistaken the furbag for Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch, and thought she was putting him back in a bin where he belonged, or she may simply not like cats. What was interesting was the reaction to the footage; pretty soon, a Facebook group called ‘Death to Mary Bale’ had been created and was attracting lots of followers. Calling for the summary execution of Mrs Bale, its members suggested that she be “repeatedly headbutted” and “flogged to within an inch of her life”.
The level headed among us can see how ridiculous this is, but it serves as a lesson in online reputation management for many businesses. Although you may strive to provide the best service you can, sometimes things will go wrong. As the Internet offers a degree of relative anonymity, you can be sure that you will attract some disproportionate criticism. A swift, profound apology can take the wind out of a critic’s sails, but negative comments can follow you around on the web like a bad smell, and show up in your search results for months, or even years, afterwards.
If your business is plagued by the acrid niff of overly harsh criticism, it’s time to call in an SEO expert. A reputable search engine optimisation company can plan a campaign to restore your positive search engine returns to the top of your SERPs, and can guide you in minimising the fall out from future attempts to unfairly besmirch the reputation of your business.
Just make sure there are no CCTV cameras around before trying to recycle your neighbour’s cat.[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbMt82yVj24]