Drunk News Anchor & Online Reputation Management



694,723 = The number of views the Annie Sensrud video has gained on YouTube.

THOUGHT: The Internet can be cruel and unforgiving, especially when you commit the cardinal sin of making a mistake in public. Just ask Miss Teen USA.

Or ask Annie Stensrud, anchor for KEYC TV in Mankato, Minnesota. Stensrud had a rough performance on a recent broadcast during which she slurred her words and therefore appeared to have been drunk.

Stensrud and her station have since denied she was drunk, explaining that she had a bad reaction to medication she was taking. Unfortunately for Stensrud, that explanation came well after the viral damage had been done.

The broadcast in question was uploaded to YouTube on December 6 by CoryInKato who tweeted it to his 40 followers the following day and from that humble beginning the video went viral. But it wasn’t just the YouTube video that was so damaging.

From those 40 followers, the clip found its way onto Gawker and Huffington Post and The Onion and other popular sites. Those three sites alone account account for 109 million visitors a month.

The visibility those sites gave the video likely caught the attention of David Letterman’s writers, who used it as the basis for his Top Ten Signs Your Local News Team Is Drunk list. Letterman averages 3.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

That infamy drove search traffic for Annie Stensrud’s name, her station, and generic search queries such as “drunk news anchor.”

While the harsh glare of public scrutiny on Ms. Stensrud will dim to nothing in a week, the digital tracks of her mistake will painfully remain. Whenever someone searches Annie Stenrud’s name, they will likely find her mistake.

She may not be able to clean up her online tracks entirely but she can make them harder to find. 

She’s got to fight against negative content with more content of her own. Fortunately for her, she already has an online presence in the form of a YouTube channel and a LinkedIn account, so she’s got a start.

Were I advising Ms. Stensrud, I’d recommend she dot-com herself by buying AnnieStensrud.com, if she hasn’t already, and launch a daily blog, get active on Twitter, upload videos to YouTube, and optimize all the content for her name. 

It’s not like the negative content is going to vanish, so I”d also advise her to address the issue directly with a YouTube video explaining what happened. That way, at least her side of the story will be available alongside the broadcast video. 

MINNESOTA MONDAY: Sadly for girls everywhere, Minnesota Twins star catcher Joe Mauer got engaged over the weekend. And that news makes his name the most popular query at Google today

Thank you for reputation management services.

The e-Strategy Academy covers all aspects of digital marketing including search optimization & marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, mobile marketing & public relations.