In business, your professional reputation is one of your most valuable assets. This has been true since the dawn of commerce, but in the digital era, protecting your reputation is more important than ever. Your reputation allows you to build trust with clients, represent your company in new locations and market your products and services to wider audiences. If your reputation is damaged due to harmful online content, the consequences can affect your bottom line and even put you out of business.
Reputation Management Offers Protection
Business owners who have had their reputations attacked often turn to reputation management specialists to combat harmful online content. Reputation management is the process of removing harmful content that targets your image and introducing helpful content online to push down harmful content. Depending on the cause of reputational harm, the process of reputation management can take weeks, months or even years to pay off.
Why Does Reputation Management Take So Long?
One of the reasons reputation management can take a while to produce results is that online content tends to stick around. Once something is placed on a web page or posted on social media, it could stay there for decades. As a result, reputation management specialists must either work diplomatically to have harmful content removed or attempt to combat it by posting enough positive content to cause the harmful content to be pushed down in search engine results. Depending on how widespread a damaging story has become and the amount of effort required to combat the story, the process can take some time.
Reputation Marketing Can Help
Reputation marketing is a type of content marketing that attempts to get positive content out before a negative story causes waves on the web. This is usually done to influence perceptions so that the deck is stacked in your favor should a negative piece of content begin circulating in the future. By filling search results with positive content that positions you or your company in a positive light, harmful content will have less chance of taking root and gaining traction.
Is Reputation Management Public Relations?
Public relations can be a part of a reputation management strategy since the two are related. Public relations, however, tends to focus more on direct response strategies to combat harmful content. These strategies may include writing and promoting press releases or issuing public statements designed to address specific issues. Reputation management, on the other hand, usually places less emphasis on addressing harmful content directly, and instead, it attempts to produce a counterweight to damaging content.
For example, if your company has been accused of defrauding customers, the public relations response would be to issue a press release denouncing these claims and declaring your company’s innocence. The reputation management strategy may be to create websites, blog posts, and social media posts about how your company takes its fiscal responsibility very seriously. This content would highlight any awards or recognition your company has received for customer trust and accountability. Once again, the goal here is not to address matters head-on; instead, reputation management is concerned with shaping public opinion and controlling the narrative.
Who Needs Reputation Management And Marketing?
Famed artist Andy Warhol once said, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” This has been partially true for many people as technologies like video streaming have given rise to influencers, YouTubers, gaming streamers and other e-celebrities. It used to be that only politicians, movie stars and heads of companies needed to monitor their reputations, but these days, just about anyone who uses the Internet can benefit from reputation management.
This isn’t to say that reputation management is a necessity for the average person, but it is to say that guarding your reputation on the Internet is essential. This is especially true when your reputation is tied to your profession. Offhanded remarks on social media can always come back to haunt you, so it’s good to know that solutions like reputation management exist in case you need them.