Since time began, people have been bothered about their reputation. It is a reputation that makes someone a hero, or a villain. Everybody and everything has a reputation, be that a business, a persona, a product or an idea, and it is this very reputation that determines how the public will see it. Once upon a time, it was reasonably easy to control reputations, because people only had to focus on a geographical area. Now, however, the internet has taken over and everything has gone global. This is why it is so important to work together with a specialist who knows what they are doing in terms of controlling reputation.
Take, for instance, an ethanol plant in Nebraska that recently went bankrupt under a barrage of bad publicity. A different business purchased the plant, and they now have to work very hard to restore a positive reputation in order to make the plant work. They are achieving this thanks to the hard work of an online reputation management consultant, who has to make significant efforts to change public perception of the plant in particular.
What Is an Online Reputation?
Simply put, it is how an entity or individual is perceived online. Much of that is determined by search results, and these are found in various locations including business websites, social media profiles, blogs, consumer forum, reviews and news articles for instance. It is hard to control a reputation, because most of the information that is out there actually belongs to a third party.
What Is Reputation Management?
Essentially, it is a system that monitors and analyzes information that is out there that influences a reputation and that attempts to adjust it if the reputation becomes negative. Maintaining a positive spin is reasonably easy, until a negative comment is placed out there. Because of free speech, people can say whatever they want, even if it is not true. Reputation managers have to mitigate this, which can be anything from speaking to someone with a bad experience and resolving the issue at hand to going to court and suing for slander and libel.
Why Does it Matter?
Some people feel that reputation management is nothing but a feeble attempt to save face. In reality, however, it is about more than that. Naturally, everybody wants to be perceived in a positive light, but it is important to always remain ethical as well. There are many scam artists out there as well as people who bare a grudge or who simply enjoying spreading false information (so-called ‘internet trolls’). Through reputation management, fraudulent activities can also be identified. Furthermore, it is a way of finding out whether there are genuine problems within a business or individual’s behavior. As such, it is also a PR method and it delivers SEO results.
Very simply put, reputation management is vital to the success of any business today. A reputation can make or break a company and it must therefore be taken seriously.