Your company has fallen from grace. Maybe your CEO was arrested for fraud. Maybe E. coli was found in your food and made your restaurant customers sick. Or maybe you’ve just made some ill-advised business decisions over time, and it’s finally caught up with you.
Today, it’s easier than ever before to spark misinformation, watch it spread, and then witness it take down corporations, crush reputations, and topple political figures.
Exaggeration this is not. A brief glance at the news tells you all you need to know. Fake news is powerful enough to shake technology juggernauts, crush world-famous personalities, and wipe entire businesses off the map.
Your brand reputation is the single most crucial factor in the success of your company. An excellent reputation increases your customer loyalty, lead generation, and your competitive advantage. A bad one lowers your sales and makes people look at your business in a negative light.
Here’s the deal. The media thinks your CEO screwed up. According to rumors, she siphoned the company’s quarterly earnings into a private yacht spending spree.
The truth? Your CEO is innocent.
But what does the media care about truth? They’re hanging onto the rumors like a toddler clutching a Snickers bar. The Internet’s news minions are intent on vilifying a corporate leader, weaving tales of oversized yachts funded with ill-gotten gain.
How do you predict whether a content campaign will be worth it? It’s a constant battle: executive leadership and check-signers won’t approve a marketing budget unless they can be assured of a Return on Investment (ROI) of X%. Marketing departments continue to push to develop new marketing strategies, but without budget approval, their hands are often tied.
Can you imagine how it felt to be the Chief Marketing Officer at Oxfam last month after their deputy CEO, Penny Lawrence, resigned because of a sex crimes scandal? If the first word that enters your mind is “stressed,” that’d be an understatement. A serious CEO scandal can mean the ruination of the reputation of an entire company, not just those at the top.
One of the biggest challenges most businesses face is generating publicity for their brand and growing their reputation in the market. Brand awareness and publicity allows potential customers to find you and can allow a business to grow rapidly. One famous business person that has mastered the art of publicity is Donald Trump. Although his approach is controversial and his methods are unorthodox, Trump has been able to grow his wealth into the billions, get his own TV show and ultimately become the president of the United States.
Many businesses focus on SEO, social media and content to build their online presence. One way to accelerate your online growth is to focus on growing your brand through citations and mentions. Both Google and Bing have indicated that they can track brand mentions and that they matter for search engine rankings. Duane Forrester, a former senior product manager at Bing, stated that unlinked mentions can be just as strong a signal as links for measuring a site’s authority.
The best reputation management companies use some degree of influencer outreach to promote a positive online image for their clients. They're working to change the narrative about a person or brand, so third-party affirmation and amplification is important to reinforce brand messaging. Here are a few methods to find influencers online.