The Online Reputation Management Blog

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Business Reputation Management (3)

9 min read

What is Reputation Capital?

reputation-capital

Reputation capital is the value of the intangible assets of a business. Anything from reviews to brand identity can build reputation capital, and it all boils down to one word: trust. How much do people trust your business? The more trust there is in your business, the greater its reputation capital.

  • A positive reputation enables you to better control your prices, and achieve industry recognition and thought leadership.
  • Businesses with a strong reputation capital can overcome a crisis easier and faster than those with negative reputations.
  • Reputation capital is both one of the most important aspects of any business and the most difficult to quantify.

6 min read

Dark Media Arts: Some PR Agencies are Evil

Are some PR agencies evil?

Yes. Some PR agencies specialize in destruction rather than enhancement of reputation. Some of these agencies work for governments or political parties, others are private contractors, all have a similar agenda: Lay false trails, generate fake news, and use social media to weaken or decimate rivals by manipulating public opinion for nefarious purpose.

11 min read

How to unlock branded search features in Google

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Google is your new home page. When a brand dominates their own search engine results, it sends trust signals to prospective customers. Control of the many aspects of search results such as Knowledge Panel, carousel images, location information, Google posts, social media posts, and more not only provides brands with the ability to showcase why they're great, it also enables a company to keep competitors from sharing their online brand-space. This article discusses many of the ways brands can control how they're seen online.

14 min read

The Cost of Negative Corporate Reputation

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Corporate reputation refers to people’s collective opinion regarding a corporation or enterprise. It’s based on such features such as search engine results, news coverage, and the publicized actions of the company. There are some corporate reputation humdingers out there. The news media loves a sizzling story of a corporation’s fall from grace and with good reason. The public is receptive, clicks ensue, money is made. This is because the human brain seems wired to generate copious amounts of curiosity when the topic is salacious or negative.

14 min read

Online reputation repair - Fixing a damaged corporate reputation

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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.

A reputation crisis can happen unexpectedly and can be a difficult thing to overcome, but it is possible to repair your reputation. Although a damaged corporate reputation may seem impossible to reverse, the journey to rebuild it can be summarized in a few key steps:

15 min read

Fake News: The New Face of Corporate Reputation Warfare

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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.

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 right off the map. And yet people still believe it. 

15 min read

Saving the Boss's Bacon - Executive Reputation Guide

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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.

10 min read

How Brands Shouldn't Deal With Scandal

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Can you imagine how it felt to be the Chief Marketing Officer at Oxfam 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 ruin of the reputation of an entire company, not just those at the top.

9 min read

Top 10 Reputation Management Articles of the Year

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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!

12 min read

Are Yelp reviews reliable?

The success or failure of your business can hinge on its online reviews. But more and more people are asking themselves if online reviews are even trustworthy. 

From choosing the best hotels and restaurants in town to consulting the right doctors, most people rely on online reviews. Reviews are quickly replacing friend recommendations to become the main way we vet businesses against one another. In fact, we rely on online reviews so much that a single bad review can completely ruin the online reputation of a company.

One study suggests that 91% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations—as long as the reviews are authentic. But about 20% of reviews are fake. So can you really trust Yelp business reviews?

People see star-ratings first

Yelp itself states that 88% of people are "more likely to look past a negative review if they see that the business has responded and appropriately addressed the issue." But that statistic is based on people actually reading reviews. Most people look at the star-rating first. If it's not high enough they may not even read the reviews.

Yelp has been suspected of allowing businesses to pay for more prominent placement in search results. This would be a problem for good reason – this practice can destroy the credibility of the reviews we read.

This makes it even harder for honest reviews to rank over various types of review manipulation. And it also makes it difficult to constantly monitor all the new reviews for a business.

Yelp algorithm vs. motivated humans

The fact is, businesses with higher star-ratings and better reviews get more customers. While Yelp may not always be a trustworthy source, they do make an attempt. Yelp tries to improve its algorithm to weed out fake reviews, but it's tough. It's a lot easier to create fake reviews than it is to create an algorithm to detect them. 

If a business is found to have faked reviews Yelp puts a nasty message on the business' Yelp page. Many business owners just shrug this off. After all, they're trying to feed their families and in their eyes Yelp is just getting in the way. 

Let's remember that businesses don't ask to have Yelp pages created. And for those businesses that don't want to be listed on Yelp, getting a page deleted is almost impossible. What's a business to do?

The cost of creating fake reviews is generally far less than the cost of finding waiters who never, ever, have a bad day. So if the cost of creating fake reviews is less than the cost of perfection, and the worst thing that may happen is a nasty message on a Yelp page the business doesn't even want, many business owners ask the question "why not?".

It turns out that staying in business is a great motivator for trying to game Yelp.

Common types of review manipulation 

This blog will share some of the most common types of review manipulation, and what you can look out for to become a more informed buyer. It's time to stop trusting reviews at face value and take a more critical stance when researching businesses online.

4 most common types of review manipulation:

7 min read

How to build a reputation online

Prospective customers compare the search profiles between competitors. New businesses normally don't have the level of search profile that mature companies do. That puts new companies at a disadvantage.

Reputation and reviews drive the success of businesses worldwide. Every month, approximately 543,000 new businesses open up. 70% of new businesses survive at least two years, half at least five years, and a third at least ten years. Just a quarter of all new businesses survive for 15 years or more. 

8 min read

A reputation management Checklist that works

If you’re musing about improving your online reputation, it might help to have an idea of the direction you’re going in. This brief guide can help you formulate a plan and take action.

Reputation management is, of course, a continual effort. We have outlined both the groundwork and the tune-up work to keep your reputation in the best possible shape for the long run. 

First, take stock of your online reputation: 

  • Listen for mentions
  • Examine your reviews
  • Check the accuracy of your online profiles 
  • Level set against the competition
  • Locate any problem online content
  • Perform outreach to a list of publishers

Continue to monitor your reputation in the long term:

  • Manage online reviews
  • Clean up your social media presence

Find out exactly how to do these things in this blog. 

7 min read

The Role of Reputation in the Customer Journey

Imagine a prospect is making the tough decision between using your company or your competitor. At the last minute they discover something a bit "off" about your company's online profile. Which company will get the sale? 

It could be a review, a lack of publicity, a problem with your Wikipedia page, or many other things. How does reputation play into the buyers journey?

11 min read

Thinking with guts vs. brains: What is confirmation bias?

Why do you believe the things that you believe? Why do you defend your beliefs? Why do you like others who think as you do? We like to think that our beliefs are our own, formed from our unique, individual experiences, informed by our own logic, devoid of outside bias. But confirmation bias is one factor that quietly pushes us to one side of the fence or the other. In short, people agree with things they already agree with.

8 min read

How do people find your site?

There was a time when you couldn't get a chicken soup recipe while sitting on the toilet. Strange but true! It used to be that you asked your mom, or your friends, a book, or your local librarian for information. Today, instead of picking up the phone, everyone from bearded urban millennials to grandmas and dairy farmers turn to one place above all others: the Internet. How do people search? The three search types "do," "go," and "know." How people use them are explained in this article. 

10 min read

Fact-Checking Fake News

Has any phrase been more divisive and frustrating during the election cycle and current federal administration than “fake news”? Seemingly innocent in its phrasing, the term has come to stand for entirely more than just a story with false facts.

Fake news—who makes it, who reads it, who believes it, and who profits from it—are all increasingly important topics in modern society, so much so that it now seems Americans live in two separate, competing realities.

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