Here is a simple exercise. Before going through this blog, kindly type out your name on Google and press the ‘Enter’ key. What do you see? The search result will probably display
- Some profiles across various Social Media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, etc.
- Some long-forgotten feedback posts
Now, how about if the search result displayed anything slanderous, embarrassing and personal. Or, else suppose, if it displayed anything that is either false or a perfect piece of misinformation about you. How you would have felt under such circumstances? What impact such misleads would have had on your love life?
Apparently, these might seem to be completely irrelevant to your very existence on this planet. However, the age and the time, in which we are living, have to be taken into consideration. These things are pretty common in corporate domain. As such, public figures around the world too have to go through such trying times pretty often.
What is reputation management?
This is where the aspect of reputation management comes into relevance. In simple words, reputation management is all about understanding and manipulating reputation of an individual or that of a business.
In fact, before the advent of the digital technology, the jargon ‘Public Relations (PR)’ was in much use. This was the earlier version of the concept of reputation management. Advent of Search Engines, along with relevant features, like Social Media and Online Marketing, etc. contributed to the development of this latest concept.
Reputation Management is a unique service that the specialist organizations provide. In fact, these organizations believe an entity, whether it is an individual or a corporate firm, possesses the right to decide how it will appear before the world.
Ethical aspect of Reputation Management include
- Responding to customer queries and complaints
- Using online feedbacks to facilitate market for a product, etc.
A certain zone of Reputation Management is extremely grey in shade. These include
- Censoring adverse comments and
- Implementing common SEO tricks to manipulate the system to influence search results, etc.
In fact, these strategies are in wide practice in this industry in the present times.
Managing reputation online
Managing reputation of an individual or a business across the domain of the internet is online Reputation Management (ORM). As such, Twitter and Facebook, etc. are omnipotent tools to create or break reputation for just any individual. Online reputation can make or break even the internationally renowned brands almost in seconds.
Therefore, it is crucial to keep a tab on one’s online reputation these days. Especially, for any corporate entity, it is more than necessary to survive in the breakneck competition that exists across the professional domain.
Here are some basic and widely effective tips to protect one’s reputation online.
- Strive to attain respect – In the contemporary times, respect is a perishable entity. Moreover, it is becoming increasingly tough, these days, to gain it. Earning respect from the society is the best way to insulate one’s system from adverse impacts of online reputation.
- Maintain transparency – In the contemporary world where Social Media platforms have attained insurmountable popularity, it is better to maintain transparency on all walks of life.
- Close monitoring – One should monitor what people are saying about the individual or the organization.
- Prompt but polite reply – Whenever an adverse comment is posted, one should take a prompt action. One requires replying back almost instantly, without wasting any time. However, one also needs to remain polite while addressing such adverse issues.
- Addressing and inviting criticism – Back in 2009, a policy drafted by Whole Foods faced strong criticism. A couple or so days later, the organization circulated a response statement, recognizing the fact that there were “many opinions on this issue, including inside our own company” and in as-a-matter-fact manner, it invited the public to share their views on it.
These are pretty effective steps, as mentioned earlier. The topic of reputation management online requires persistence effort and awareness. However, one can finally approach a professional online reputation Management organization. There are innumerable such organizations across the world these days. In fact, quite a number of Indian organizations are providing an excellent service on this aspect. These service providers are competently catering to the global customers, covering every corner of this planet.