Understanding the Essence of Reputation Management
Reputation, defined as an entity of one’s total identity as defined by others, also an opinion or a result of evaluation following a set of criteria. Reputation, if we are to talk about business is something utterly important and serves as one pillar in its foundation. When businesses invest in efforts or means to maintain a positive and credible reputation, the process is called reputation management. Let this article shed light on the functions and the actions of reputation management companies and how business owners can benefit from fully understanding the “hows” and the “whats”
Efforts or means that aim to understand or influence an individual or a business’s reputation can be included under the field of reputation management. It was originally used in the field of public relations, but since the emergence of websites and social media, the online community now needs this line of expertise. Why? Primarily because online networks gave birth to grey areas associated with ethics in publishing, examples of these are negative or censored complaints or comments about a product or a service, negative SEO tactics to manipulate the system and influence search results, astrosurfing results, and customer complains going way overboard. The goal of reputation management is to filter these grey areas and to respond and manage them in a positive manner that does not tarnish the reputation of the party involved.
Actions implemented by reputation management companies revolve around monitoring an individual or a brand and addressing the contents that are deemed harmful or damaging to the individual or the business’ reputation. A primary tool used by these firms is a customer feedback system or early warning systems that alarms when threats to reputation are brewing. Sites like eBay, for example, can be monitored by through their feedback system, while sites such as Everything2 and Wikipedia can be monitored through the write-ups submitted to them. Most efforts to monitor and manage one’s reputation is targeted towards Google Search.
Monitoring of one’s reputation whether online or through other media warrants concrete tactics. Some of the tactics used by reputation management firms are the following:
1 Push down negative comments by tagging and improving SEO of published materials by the company. Positive testimonials and white papers are examples.
2 To outperform negative results, original websites and positive social media profiles and websites are published.
3 Negative content about a brand is suppressed through online press releases to authoritative websites.
4 Taking legal actions if the individual or business believes they were libeled.
5 Acquiring mentions to third party sites ranking high in search engines such as Google
6 Use of spambots and denial of service to sites that are considered offensive and damaging
7 Being proactive buy offering prominent reviewers free products
8 Promoting a proactive response to criticisms
This article on reputation and brand management is authored by Chris Williams. Chris is fond of writing articles on business, with particular focus on public relations and reputation management; he offers useful advices to businesses and recommends sites such as reputationmanagementconsultants.comfor additional tips.