business meeting

Why businesses are realising Reputation Management is no longer just crisis comms

When do you think you need reputation management for your business?

Historically, the view of online reputation management links directly with times of crisis.

Online reputation management expands beyond times of crisis

A brand’s reputation may be on the line due to negative comments across various social media platforms, for example.

This is a communications crisis, and it absolutely does need managing in order to minimise damage to public perception of the brand, business or individual involved.

But in 2021, reputation management is far more complex. It brings with it vast opportunities to take control of the online reputation of your business.

Reputation management strategies should embrace opportunities

Proactive reputation management incorporates an in-depth understanding of communications, data management, review management and how to shape the narrative.

Businesses are increasingly becoming aware of the potential of online reputation management and why it’s about far more than getting through times of crisis.

The evolution of reputation management companies

The dynamics of reputation management have evolved since Igniyte began working with individuals and businesses on their brand’s reputation.

Along the way, we’ve adapted, innovated and kept on top of technological advances and reputation management software.

It’s a fast-changing world. In fact, it evolves along with technology and online communications. From review response tools to proper management of social media accounts, reputation management services today encompass complex and cutting-edge strategies.

This is also why reputation management companies are more in demand than ever.

Company reputation is predicated by consumer perception

Consumers today have high expectations of brands, services and products.

Reputation management is about far more than fielding the odd piece of negative coverage in the media or simple public relations.

If we go back 20 years, media coverage was largely confined to physical publications.

Today, of course, your online reputation amalgamates everything from review sites, Google search results, negative content in online media, business listings and social media pages.

All of this content helps to shape public perception and affects whether a business will retain customers.

Personal brands can also be damaged by negative search results, negative reviews, unwanted coverage on news sites and from media outlets.

More often than not, there is a personal and business crossover that makes it increasingly difficult to manage inaccurate information online, bad press or any damaging content.

Opportunities to use reputation management to craft a positive message

In among the reputation management work surrounding search results and review management, there are enormous opportunities to actively build a company, individual or group’s reputation online.

Effective management of social media, review sites and the entity’s online reputation can actively build a positive business reputation.

Companies need to think innovatively to tackle reputation management

Agile, forward-thinking, social media savvy comms and PR teams can contribute to people’s perception of a brand online and offline.

Social media management in particular needs to be on the ball. Management of an online presence can succeed or fail based on how switched on the social media team is, and how much they tune into the vagaries of their audience.

By being aware not only of brand adherents and their general social media opinions, but also of the wider media zeitgeist, social media managers will be ready always to maximise the brand’s online presence in a positive way.

Helping businesses boost their online reputation attracts more customers

At Igniyte we work with businesses of all sizes and across every region.

We also work directly with individuals who want to control the online narrative about them personally and in terms of their links to business.

This is obviously a complex job, and entails utilising the right media monitoring tool, managing search results from Google and other major search engines, creating authentic positive content, managing negative reviews and much more.

Buy in from employees is vital for most businesses and brands to create holistic and authentic positive content.

Everyone at a company must take responsibility for their personal reputation too

The biggest multi-nationals can’t feasibly wait for CEO direction on how every employee should react online to changing news, for example.

Employees must feel safe and understand how they can respond in a way that best represents the company and propagates positive messages.

Today’s online world means that every employee of every business is an unofficial brand ambassador.

Whether the business is an online retailer dealing with a negative review, or a corporate firm dealing with bad news online, the whole point of cohesive reputation management is that everyone has a part to play.

Managing their reputation should be integral to every company’s strategy

Reputation management is not a separate project that is initiated when needed.

Instead, the management of a brand name and its online reputation should be part of the company’s integral communication and public relations strategy.

Successful reputation management then is about the perfect mix of talent and technology.

In order to create the right kind of positives reviews, responses on review sites, positive sentiment, web content and social profiles, it makes sense to invest in the people, tools, tech and reputation management company to make this happen.

Crisis management versus real-time reputation management

Many of the same ideas and strategies that go into crisis responses can also be used to real-time online reputation management.

To do this effectively and meaningfully, businesses must keep abreast of the external news cycle, of fast-moving content changes, social media trends and expectations for the customer experience.

There is a lot of noise out there online. Every day, every hour, every minute, the narrative changes.

Media coverage of external events can lead to unexpected outcomes for a business.

It’s for the public relations team along with anyone else involved with the reputation management of a company to listen hard to what’s going on and act accordingly.

A company reputation is spread across a wide range of channels and platforms

Data from review sites, along with changing search engine results, investor responses, clients responses, the narrative from customers and other stakeholders work together to give pieces of the puzzle.

Armed with this knowledge, a reputation management company or internal team can the prioritise what matters and what will impact the reputation of the business or brand.

Data science and analysis is a vital part of working out how a brand should respond – or not respond – to external news cycles or coverage.

On some occasions, nearly everything that’s floating on social media matters to a specific brand or business. On others, a brand, management or a company staying silent can be more positive.

The reputation of the CEO is closely linked with the external perception of a brand or company

Brand reputation management is now synonymous with a businesses’ leadership teams.

This necessarily pushes reputation data even further into the forefront of proper reputation management.

Reputation management software can go a long way to create the kinds of data and scores that will inform a successful reputation management strategy.

What builds a reputation management strategy?

Think of the reputation of a brand, business or individual as an overarching picture of their external perception.

It’s not always about who the individual is, or what the brand does – it’s about how it looks online.

Brands need happy customers, good reviews from third parties, peers and stakeholders, and positive perceptions of its services on various sites.

Social media channels are a major part of the external picture make-up of a brand or business.

Search engine results are just as important, albeit less immediately visible. Anyone searching a brand name will either see five star reviews and positive links about social responsibility, for example, or they will see outdated news stories pertaining to legal action.

These two contrasting results to one theoretical Google search of a company show just how important reputation management is.

Technology, know-how, innovation and deep dive data analysis

Obviously, reputation management isn’t about massaging data to give inauthentic positive reviews. It’s about utilising the technology available, the expertise of reputation management companies or internal teams, to craft the kind of reputation that best suits the brand’s reality.

And if that ends up with five star reviews and glowing Wikipedia pages, then that’s a job well done by the public relations and comms teams.

What kind of reputation management software does the job?

Almost two-thirds (60%) of the global population use the Internet – a lot.

We’re on social networks, we’re leaving positive reviews on platforms like TripAdvisor, we’re buying products and services, researching and following news stories.

Much of this activity takes place on social media networks, as well as endless sites of all kinds.

For businesses then, it’s important to keep track of their reputation among this morass of information.

Software and tech can help this kind of reputation management. For example, Yoono checks what’s out there online by automatically checking files.

The latest tech powers this automated search, which makes it an ideal took to facilitate reputation management for the future.

Personal reputations of employees matter too

But as I’ve already touched on, the business reputation is also dependent on employees.

Personal reputations underpin the external perception of a business.

Recent research shows that almost three-quarters of execs think that their executives inform customer perception.

A separate report shows that almost 50% of a company’s reputation is directly dependent on the reputation of its CEO.

A company’s reputation denotes its market value

Negative ones of the highest level execs permeate through the brand and taint its reputation in the eyes of peers, the media and customers.

The same report, which is by Weber Shandwick, shows that nearly two-thirds of the market value of a company derives directly from its reputation.

Grab the opportunities that reputation management offer

Reputation awareness and management are integrated into the most successful companies and their overall strategy.

For example, social responsibility has shifted into the core offering of most businesses. This is an example of the kind of opportunity that reputation management, data analysis and reputation crafting offers every business.

Businesses are increasingly realising the power of their online reputation and bringing it into the general PR fold.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.