Maintaining a good reputation is an important function for the success of people, companies and products. Once a good reputation is destroyed, it’s extremely difficult to get it back. This is especially true in this age of social media, 24-hour TV news coverage and internet rumor mills.
What is Reputation Management?
Basically, reputation management (ORM) is the influencing and controlling of a company’s or individual’s reputation. It was once known as “public relations.” With the arrival of the internet and search engine technology, the art of trying to control reputations had to surge forward in order to keep up with all the new communication technologies.
Online reputation management companies like BetterReputation.org are primarily concerned with monitoring, analyzing and managing websites and search engines that evaluate products, services and personal reputations for their clients. Based on their findings, these companies make recommendations and plan programs to attack and remove negative information.
It doesn’t take much for a smear campaign or an attack on a product or person to inflict heavy damage. In 2011, a false allegation that Taco Bell’s taco meat was only 35 percent real beef created a firestorm of protest on social media against the Mexican Fast Food giant. But because the company quickly countered the false charges with effective reputation management, their good reputation was quickly restored.
In 1987, a more vicious rumor began to circulate about the immensely popular Mexican beer, Corona. The company first learned of a slur campaign called “urine in the beer” when stores in Nevada began pulling Corona beer from their sales floor.
The rumor? Workers in the Corona Mexican brewery plant were relieving themselves into beer headed for USA markets to give it that distinctive bright yellow color.
Sales plummeted until Corona traced the instigator of the lie to a competitor, a Heineken beer distributor. Only when the company was forced to admit that Corona was not contaminated did sales begin to rebound..
How Online Reputation Management Works
The basic goal of an ORM firm like Better Reputation is to shape the public perception of a person or organization by influencing online information about that entity.
They continually monitor the reputation of their clients on the internet. If potentially damaging content appears online, it’s their job to counter the negative content and offset it with positive information.
The Search Engine Game
We live in an era of short attention spans and internet information. Stories that are hot today are often written off and forgotten as yesterday’s new within 24 hours.
The most-used search engine, Google, has pages and pages of content for almost every inquiry. But most viewers never look beyond the first page. Rather than continue on to page two, viewers usually move on to other information sources.
One major goal of the internet reputation management specialist is to knock the opponent off Google’s page one into obscurity on the buried pages. They do this using innovative strategies and SEO techniques that repair existing damages, clear up your reputation, and add safeguards against new attacks.
Once of Prevention Rule
Ben Franklin’s old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure certainly holds true in the reputation game. Waiting until your personal reputation, or that of your company or product you sell, is attacked and defamed is not only expensive but also dangerous.
Correcting damaged reputations after the fact can cost you thousands of dollars. That’s assuming the damage can be reversed at all.
For a modest monthly fee, ORM firms will monitor the internet for any signs of a reputation slander. Once a slur is detected, the specialists spring into action by placing positive articles, social media content and news items to counter the negative data.
What you can do to protect your own online reputation
1. Set up a Google alert for yourself.
2. Occasionally contribute things that are of professional interest.
3. Maximize your privacy settings on Facebook.
4. Limit Tweeting to a few times a month, not everyday
5. Don’t post a lot of photos to social media about you and your families.
6. Basically, don’t over-share on social media pages.
Be safe. Be cautious. Protecting your good reputation by acting quickly to counter any attacks on that positive image of yourself or your company is an important part of functioning successfully in today’s interconnected world.
Follow Better Reputation on Twitter today and keep up with your reputation today!