Reputation Management

Every organization is aware that its good reputation is priceless, but some companies aren't aware that their online reputation is just as critical. The Internet has provided a new battleground on which reputation battles must be fought. If you haven't done so, Google your organization's name and see what comes up. You may find some negatives along with the positives; if you do, this week's articles may be helpful in getting rid of them. The articles also can help you prevent negatives in the first place.

The public relations approach of "putting lipstick on the pig" is known as Reputation Management. (Item #1)   Reputation management, in short, is two jobs: trying to be more loved and trying to be less hated. (Item #2)   Your reputation in the search engines is becoming increasingly more important, and social media can help you maintain a good online reputation. (Item #3)  

Welcome to the dark and sometimes ugly world of online reputation management. (Item #4)   Here are essential ORM strategies & tactics that can save your assets. (Item #5)   A new industry promises to help counter negative search results on the Web. (Item #6)  

As always, we look forward to hearing your comments & insights regarding business continuity. If you have a topic you'd like us to cover, email me at [email protected].

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp

1. Putting Lipstick on the Pig: Reputation Management (RM)

In cases of corporate disasters the president or CEO will appear on the news stating that he has no knowledge of the disaster, that the disaster was not a disaster but a minor fluke, or saying nothing at all. It has been reported that the oil giant allegedly responsible for the recent Louisiana oil spill spent 60 million dollars on public relations advertising immediately after the calamity. The pillorization of the company head, that seemed clueless regarding the disaster, quickly led to turning around the bad and ugly into a refocusing on the good of the company which always preached going green.

2. Two Kinds of Reputation Management

Anything you do to improve your reputation - put out a terrific new product, support local philanthropies, sign onto a human rights charter - moves you a notch or two in the positive direction. Anything that hurts your reputation - an industrial accident, a controversy with stakeholders, a nasty rumor on somebody's blog - moves you in the negative direction.

3. Using Social Media for Reputation Management

As potential customers, business partners, and employers begin to use the Internet as a research and background check tool, your reputation in the search engines is becoming increasingly more important. The author recommends taking a preemptive or proactive stance, and securing one or more listings on the first page for the company or their personal name, before there is a problem. If there are already one or more unfavorable listings, however, there are still steps you can take to correct the problem, here is my basic plan for using social media reputation management.

4. Your Company Sucks! The Online Reputation Management Wars

So, you own a website. When you were purchasing the website names, you bought the .com, you probably bought the .org, and maybe the .info, but did you buy the .us, .net., and .tv? And what about the domain for your company name plus a combination of your domain and words like "sucks," "scam," "fraud," or "ripoff" for .com, .net, .org, .tv, and on down the line? How about any colorful four-letter words that will fit with your name?

5. Online Reputation Management: The New PR

Generally speaking, your reputation is created and altered by what you do and what everyone, including you, says. Unfortunately, perceptions are not always based on fact, but on opinion, conjecture and rumors. Today, there are millions of people surfing the Web for news and information about people, places and companies. If you "Google" yourself or your company today, do you like what you see?

6. Do Reputation Management Services Work?

Google the name of your company right now. See anything you don't like? If you do, at least a dozen services promise they can make it disappear. Reputation management services promise to highlight positive pages and bury offending sites deep in search results. Ranks Best Reputation Management Companies for March 2011

Quote of the Week:

"The purest treasure mortal times can afford is a spotless reputation."
-- William Shakespeare

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Attainium Corp
15110 Gaffney Circle
Gainesville, VA 20155