Reputation is a big word and sometimes the world is not enough to accommodate. Shaking off the traces of verbal hyperbole in the first sentence, it is still not easy to shrug away the responsibility of managing reputation, more when the digital space is also a virtual extension of work and people.
To manage online reputation effectively, it is first necessary to understand. In today’s fast-forward life of internet, people get to know whatever they are looking for just by typing into the search box of the search engine giant Google. Typing the name of the company can open not merely windows but doors to the enlightenment as to what kind of information is being read by the surfers. Then, it is time to analyze: what people are reading, is it good and preaching the set vision and mission of the company?
If the answer is in affirmation, then the company must keep on doing whatever helps in maintaining that image. And if it is in negative, then the company is in dire need of online reputation management, that too in a crisis management mode. There could be no turning back once the damage is done.
With so much talking going on about PR and online reputation management, there are still people with the doubt. They want to be told that the money spent on this is the money well-invested.
What to do?
There are two kinds of people- those who believe that the jobs are best done by the experts and others for whom â€˜do-it-yourself works wonders. When it comes to managing online reputation, there are several companies that often great help with their sophisticated tools and expertise. People of the first category definitely like such companies. But then, these companies generally take a sum to help people and companies to wipe off the negative image, which is also called as cyber-scrubbing in web-world. The other people of the â€˜do-it-yourselfâ€™ category can devote some time to tutoring themselves and go ahead with the practice, mastering it in due course. When it comes to businesses, they either hire other companies who have to build their name restoring brand images of many or hire an expert employee to do the job and keep tracking what goes on the net for and against the company’s image.
Working on the two elements comes to the priority.
Elements to delve into
To work this up there are two types of elements: onsite and off-site. Online there could be many things to look for issues- positive or negative with which company name is associated; responses from net-surfers, clients, etc; and content in any form. This needs continuous monitoring and working vigilantly. Press releases, news, RSS feeds, email marketing, etc help to continuously feed Ithe nternet of the facts that help to reinforce the brand image.
The other aspect is offline; outbound communication matters a lot. Doing the groundwork and reaching to the people who believe in the credibility of the company. For, examples bloggers whose opinion carry weight can contribute to building ian mage of the company, just as the testimonials written by happy clients.