It has emerged that the millionaire owner of Segway, Jimi Heselden, 62, has died in a freak accident involving one of the vehicles after driving the scooter off the edge of a cliff into the River Wharfe, in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire.
Whilst StuckOn extends its sincerest sympathies towards Mr Heselden’s family, it is apparent that this accident could pose a public relations hitch for the company.
The vehicle was touted as being “…to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy“, but in 2003, the Segway PT model was recalled as users who ignored the low battery warning were liable to be thrown off when the vehicle stopped suddenly due to low power. Since then, video sharing website YouTube has become awash with footage of people crashing the vehicles. Most famously, ex-president of the United States George W Bush was photographed while coming a cropper on one. Although the company has had increasing sales, it will have to work overtime to minimise the impact this unfortunate occurrence has on its public image. This is where a reputable search engine optimisation company can be worth its weight in gold.
It’s easy for any negative press to get out of hand on the Internet, as regular Internet users love nothing more than share stories of disasters, labelling them ‘epic fails’. It may be that a company comes in for some criticism over their services or products, they’re brought into disrepute by an employee or they’re otherwise associated with negative press – bad news travels fast to the top of the search engine results pages.
Rather than apply ‘spin’ to a news story, an ethical search engine optimisation company can tackle the problem at the root in a number of ways. Firstly, a decent SEO company will have expert writers who can craft a press release, web copy or Facebook and Twitter status updates to help minimise any PR fallout. They can also examine the main search terms that your business targets and modify them to minimise the chances of any negative press finding its way near the top of the search engine results pages.
Search engine optimisation is not a complete replacement for your public relations department. Instead, it will work in conjunction with it to maintain your company’s image.