The drip, drip, drip of names and email addresses of people who are registered on the Ashley Madison website offers publicity opportunities galore if you’re willing to comment on this story.
#AshleyMadison is trending on Twitter, with more than 142,000 tweets as of this morning.
When hackers announced last month that they had the names, email addresses and credit card information of millions of people who were looking for an affair, I offered three ideas in my newsletter about how to piggyback onto this story for publicity:
- Marriage and relationship experts can use the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator to come with interesting headlines for content and story ideas to pitch to the media.
- Security experts, are those badges like the ones on the Ashley Madison homepage that assure visitors the site is secure a farce?
- Divorce attorneys and therapists, what situations warrant confessing an affair to your spouse? Ever? Is your advice different if the couple has children?
I’ll bet the media and bloggers are searching for sources to comment on this juicy story. This includes bloggers, podcasters, freelancers and anyone writing articles for magazines with long lead times.
If you’re up for it, start pitching! Don’t wait for them to come to you. And if they express even the slightest interest, follow up. The paid webinar I hosted yesterday explains “The New Rules of Following Up Pitches to Journalists.” (The video replay is available.)
Here are my ideas.
Crisis Counselors and PR Pros:
What should Ashley Madison be doing right now to deal with this crisis? Visit their website and you’d never guess by looking at their homepage that anything is amiss. But if you click on “Press” at the bottom of the page, you can see the five statements the company has issued starting in July, when the story broke.
What, if anything, should the company add to its website while this crisis is spinning out of control? You can also comment on the statements.
Legal, Security and Internet Experts:
What else are people doing online that make them vulnerable to Internet blackmail? What about things like revenge porn? Create a quiz that shows people how vulnerable they are to blackmail.
Authors & Speakers:
If you speak or write about forgiveness, this is the perfect opportunity to share your message.
If a someone finds the name or email address of a spouse or significant other in the data dump, what should they do? How do you approach the guilty party who might not even be guilty because the Ashley Madison site doesn’t verify email addresses?
Social Media and Internet Experts:
If people create a profile on a social media site or website, how easy or difficult is to delete it? Which sites let the profile live on forever? JustDelete.me is a directory of direct links to delete your account from web services.
How do you counsel members of your clergy who tell you they’ve discovered their partner is having an affair? What do you tell them about forgiveness? Comment on the Josh Duggar admission that he’s addicted to Internet porn and is “the biggest hypocrite ever.”
Have you seen an increase in business because of the Ashley Madison hack? If someone wants to have an affair, what insider tips can you share that will help them cover their tracks and make sure they don’t get caught? Is that even possible?
Therapists and Marriage Counselors:
Discuss the danger of having an emotional affair. Vogue magazine wrote about this two days ago. Also, if someone is having an affair—emotional or physical—and wants to end it, what’s the best way to get out?
If someone uses a home computer to search one of several websites where the hacked data has been published, can a spouse or significant other find out? Of course they can, simply by checking that computer’s browsing history. Yet many people don’t know how to clear their history. Explain how to do it—and why security experts can trace the history after it’s been erased.
Comment on this Ashley Madison heat map from Flashpoint that plots the geographic location of users. Any surprises?
Those are my ideas. What about yours? Are you piggybacking onto this story to promote your expertise or as “the local angle”? If so, how?