Online Reputation Management

Depending on the size and brand sensitivity of organizations, they have traditionally had Public Relations departments, spokesperson or spin doctors to deal with crisis management, customer relations, employee relations, government affair and media relations.

Even though Public Relations (PR) has been a center of attention for years as the process of maintaining public image for high-profile people, organizations, corporations, programs and governments, in the recent years, its importance has grown more than ever. With the ever growing creation of user generated content (UGC) through blogging and video sharing platforms and other forms of social media, more people have access to the media and can potentially negatively impact the image of a person or an organization.

Negative blog postings, undesirable feedback in blog comments, damaging testimonials in popular forums, unrealistic allegations, and product reviews from false users just under or above your company name can destroy profits without the proper corporate reputation management.  Reputation Management is the practice of responding to the reputation damaging information.

Robert Greene says: “so much depends on reputation – guard it with your life. Make your reputation unassailable.  Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen.”  To do so, you need to monitor your brand or name on an ongoing basis to see what is being said about it.  You can do so using various brand monitoring tools such as Google Alert.  Once you find possible negative online comments or blog posts, you have various options to deal with the situation.

Reputation Management will assure that potential customers will have a positive and realistic impression of your company.  As in most cases removing the damaging information from the result pages of search engines is not possible, online reputation management explores other solutions such as improving the first page of search engines results pages more favourable to the corporate site.

The first goal of online reputation management is to get negative results off of the first page. This is done by adapting various SEO strategies to outrank those negative results and send them far down the search results.  Some of these strategies are:

•    Developing micro sites
•    Utilizing social media sites (e.g., Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn)
•    Developing and optimizing videos and other digital assets
•    Writing and distributing press releases
•    Blogging to create fresh content
•    Building wiki-sites

Search engine optimization agencies were among the first companies who started offering search reputation management services.  PR companies seem to be a little behind the online world.  They either need to start developing the skills or team up with search marketing firms to help their corporate clients in the Web 2.0 world.

Filed Under: Search Engine Optimization


About the Author

Nima Asrar Haghighi is an Internet Marketing consultant with expertise in SEM (PPC Advertising), Organic SEO, RSS, Social Media and Web Analytics (Google Analytics IQ Certified). Nima holds an MBA in marketing, B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering, Project Management Certification, and CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) in E-commerce. You can reach Nima at +Google Plus or LinkedIn.

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