Preventative Reputation Management Might Be The Right Choice For You
It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Of course, he made this statement while discussing guns, but we should take it into consideration when speaking about so much more, particularly anything health-related. This wise saying definitely holds true when discussing your business and its reputation. An online attack on your personal character or your business could end up costing you much more than you bargained for. And of course, negative rants and reviews take their toll in emotional ways too, especially if you are not ready to face them and fix them. Threatening someone with legal action who may be tarnishing your image, even if you are in the right, could be perceived as revenge-seeking and immature. Prevention allows you to navigate these issues without further tarnishing your reputation.
The first step in preemptive reputation management is understanding the online conversation surrounding your brand and identity. You’ll want to identify any existing sources of negative information that you may find as well as the positive. You may benefit from the positive information as it can help you further understand your clients’ or followers’ expectations. You may also be able to address the negative information in a surprisingly quick and effective manner. However, it is extremely important that you handle any discontent client sensitively and you do not want to reveal any of their personal information. Before you build your online presence and have social media experience, it might be best if everything is kept confidential.
You should not just monitor your company names and any variations of it. It would be prudent to also look up your product names, the names of high-level employees, their online activities. Plus, you’ll want to stay up-to-date with any news in your industry. The most successful marketing professionals and reputation managers also track their competitors to see what the public is saying about them. It’s only with this full picture that you will be able to implement an online reputation management campaign that is airtight, allowing you to face potential issues or a reputation crisis.
When you already have a solid base of accurate and positive information it is definitely harder for negative information to take root. A company with five negative reviews and nothing positive online will certainly have more difficulty than the company that already has a thousand good reviews and a single negative experience described online. That’s why, it’s important to establish your reputation as a caring, competent authority early on. It’s also why I always say Preventative Reputation Management is always better than Reputation Repair. Unfortunately, for so many business people, they don’t worry about their reputation until it’s in need of repair.