It’s been a year of ups and downs in the world of reputation management, with a President who uses Twitter to communicate directly with the country, sexual harassment in Hollywood powerhouses and the fallout that followed, and professional athletes protesting during the National Anthem, this year has been a busy year for PR folks. Here is our list of the top 10 shared articles on the web that focused on reputation management. Have any additional ones to share? Let us know in the comments and we’ll update our list!
Author: Nadya Khoja (On Twitter: @NadyaKhoja)
Let’s face it, we all have had negative feedback. In real life (or IRL) or online, negative feedback In this article, the author, Nadya Khoja and her team talked to over 50 top marketing influencers about how they handle negative feedback when it happens to them. The number one advice they offer? Listen to the feedback. You don’t need to feed the trolls but you definitely can take the opportunity to HEAR what the feedback is and evaluate if it’s something you can grow from.
Author: Aaron Agius (On Twitter: @IAmAaronAgius)
An interesting part of this article by Aaron Agius is to not only taking advantage of the many tools out there to monitor what’s being said about your brand, but to have a solid Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) strategy in place to prevent negative reviews from affecting your search results.
“You might not be able to control what people say about you, but you can control whether or not other people see it, “ says it all.
Author: Dot Sucks (on Twitter: @dotsucks)
This article focuses on the damage bad reviews or comments can cause on a brand, especially the United PR disaster, in which the CEO Oscar Munoz reacted rather mildly in response to the passenger dragging incident. The simple tips offered in this article are often overlooked but are great ways to monitor and respond to unpredictable bad reviews. Once again, the theme is to be ahead of the bad reviews by monitoring and suppressing the bad results by creating the positive content your brand needs to lessen the impact of the bad reviews.
Author: John Hall (On Twitter: @johnhall)
The author, John Hall, talks about the staggering numbers of online searches conducted by either corporate executive recruiters (90%) or HR departments (65%), and how much results are weighed in on decisions whether to hire or not. Even social media monitoring is being used by employers (60%) who are not necessarily liking what they’re seeing from their employees online. An equally staggering percentage (70%) of adults have been victims to online harassment, and 73% have witnessed online harassment. So what do all these numbers add up to? The value of your personal brand and the need to monitor and protect it in a world tied to our phones.
Author: Marcus Tober (on Twitter: @marcustober)
In this article, the author cites the example of the incident in UC Davis where student protesters were sprayed with pepper spray, which created a PR nightmare that wound up costing the University $175,000 to clean up online. As the author mentions, and we have in previous blog posts and even in some on this list, a large part of your strategy should include influencing what is actually showing up in search results via SERPs. Start by what you CAN control, like brand messaging via your company website, blog and social media profiles.
Author: Kelly Blokdijk (on Twitter: @TalentTalks)
This article comes from a different perspective….from the recruiter side of Executive Recruiters, and the importance of value exchange and respect in the recruiting process. The author talks about her own experience with a recruiter that was less than stellar, as an example of how much the value of an online resume via LinkedIn actually offers and the importance of outlining specifics in job postings. As with bricks and mortar examples, oftentimes networking or “word of mouth” expands the reach of your audience and may actually help recruiters connect with a more ideal candidate for a position. Although the author did not have a good experience with a recruiter, the bad experience turned into a good lesson on how to improve the recruiting process.
Author: Susan P. Joyce (on Twitter: @JobHuntOrg)
The author, Susan Joyce, is known as an job seeker expert, as founder of job-hunt.org, a “Readers Digest” of sorts for people looking for jobs online. In this article, she talks about how the invisibility of google search results can also harm your chances of getting that dream job. She offers tips on how to establish a positive and informative online presence. We learned in previous articles mentioned above how many HR departments and recruiters are looking at your online presence (65% of HR departments and 90% of executive recruiters). But what if they don’t find anything about you at all online? Google searches in the hiring process are just as much for verification of what you say you have done and who you are as it is to check and see if you’ve done anything badly or something that would reflect poorly on your reputation. In addition to tips on how to clean up some not so flattering things on your personal brand, Susan offers tips on what HR departments and recruiters are looking for and how you can position yourself for a more flattering view and highlight your capabilities.
Author: Adrianne Pasquarelli (on Twitter: @SheLikesToShop )
It’s no surprise that public opinion of major airlines has taken a deep nosedive in the wake of the extensive media coverage involving United Airlines security forcibly removing a passenger to make room for their crew. In addition to it being a PR nightmare, it also brought employee training practices to the forefront. This article is a great read on how much the customer experience drives a larger audience, and therefore can have a financial impact on a brand, and even an industry, such as the airline industry. The airline industry is still struggling to recover a more a positive image after the dragging incident, as well as grounding incidents, and as a result, is struggling with their marketing messaging. With reactive consumers and the viral ability of bad news travels fast, this may take a while.
Author: Nadia Carmon (on Twitter: @WetInkPressCo)
An often overlooked and sometimes ignored reputation management tool, social media can be a curse or a blessing to a brand, no matter how big or small. This article by Nadia Carmon, a writer and social media expert, offers actionable tips on how to use social media to respond to customers as an addition to your more traditional methods (such as email, help desk and phone support). With 2.46 Billion social media users, and Facebook being the most popular, to overlook using them as an additional communications line to your customers would be a mistake of epic proportions. But, using them so as not to damage your brand is crucial. Responding quickly and ensuring that you are in control of your brand content are key to keeping your brand healthy on the social networks. Testimonials can be used to boost search engine results but be sure to be responsive to questions and problems that social media users point your way.
Author: Jim DeLoach (On Twitter as @cci)
Last but not least, the 10th most shared article of the year has been focused on how executives can manage risk to their reputations online. Author Jim DeLoach defines “reputation risk” as the current and prospective impact on earnings and enterprise value arising from negative stakeholder opinion. With the recent impacts of scandal of the sexual harassment cases rocking Hollywood, many Executive Boards are seeing the intense pressures brought forth by reputation tarnishes and the importance of Board oversight. DeLoach suggests that reputational risk should be a part of the strategy undertaken by executives and boards as a part of the strategic and business plan. He also discusses the importance of brand compliance and consistency in reputation for both corporations and executives.
Clearly, as evidenced in all of the most popular articles we listed above, reputation management is all encompassing, whether you’re a small business owner, executive or a job seeker. The impact of a bad reputation can be financial and emotional, and all of the articles on our list offer great tips on how to repair and protect your online reputation. Reputation management is an ever evolving process whose need has increased dramatically as the overall base of google searches and social media usage has grown.
Need more tips on how to manage your brand’s reputation? Download our free guide here.