Reputation and management of reputation is everything in business. If those in your industry – everyone from customers to clients – think you have a bad reputation then this will affect your business and in turn your sales.
#bdi Social Reputation Management Conference NYC March 2010 (Photo credit: ShashiBellamkonda)
People can form an opinion about you and your company before they even meet or do business with you. Their opinion is formed by what they hear, see and read about your company. With the rise of the internet and with the increased use of social media, gaining information about your company is not hard. All this information can be found at the click of a button. We live in a digital age where anybody can publish anything they want – including positive and negative views about your services or products which can lead to the need for crisis management solutions. This information can be found on review websites, blogs, forums and social networking sites. Why do I need reputation management? The term reputation management was originally coined as a public relations term but now, with the advancement of computing, it’s primarily an issue with online. It is the practice of shaping the public’s perception a company or individual by influencing online information. The internet is a hub for information about your services and products and people will judge you on what they find so it’s important that your brand’s reputation is maintained. A strong reputation will dominate your business online and offline, helping you to create more opportunities of business and money. A bad reputation can kill your brand which will lower your sales. However, having no reputation can also be detrimental to your brand. No doors will be open to you and your competitors will get all the business instead. If your reputation is comprised and you do nothing to fix it this can cost you your business. Reputation management can be used for any size company and is dependent on your company’s need. What your company needs will be different to what another company requires so your reputation management will be unique. What can reputation management help with? There are three types of reputation management and the one you need for your business is dependent on what your company is currently achieving. The first type is called building. This type of reputation management is to do with building the reputation for your business if you are just getting started, so if have a small business you may want to consider this type of reputation management. If your company is new and you want your name out there then this will help you get your brand and message across. The second type of reputation management is maintenance. This keeps a company’s good image superior in the public eye and is meant for companies that are already established and already have a good reputation. If you have a large company you may want to consider this, as it is used to self-promote and to keep your name out there. The third and last type is recovery. You will need this if your business has got a bad reputation for whatever reason. Recovery works to hide the bad reputation with good marketing and self-promotion. About the author: Lee Wilson – has been proactively involved in online marketing, reputation management and digital PR for a number of years and since graduating from Winchester University in 2003. These range of posts are correlated to content provided by pha-media .com, a London PR agency setup in 2005 by former newspaper and magazine editor Phil Hall.