Crisis communications is the act of managing perception of an event. It isn't management of the even itself. It is communicating in a way to minimize damage. Crisis communications is viewed differently by various stakeholders. Attorneys will have the view of saying little to avoid or minimize future litigation. The CEO may have a personal view, trying to save face or retain some semblance of authority. The Board of Directors may be primarily concerned with stock price. One thing they all have in common is a desire to minimize damage.
ORM, PR, and SEO -- what are all of these acronyms for? Let's break them down, and then delve deeper into how they all fit together.
- ORM: (Online reputation management) is the repair and maintenance of a person, company, or other entity's online image.
- PR: (Public relations) is the how organizations, businesses and people communicate with the public and media.
- SEO: (Search Engine Optimization) is the effort made by online content creators (of words, images, videos, or other media) to help a website rank higher in search engine results.
PR, SEO and ORM are all specialized disciplines of online marketing.
Advertising and public relations share a common goal, which is to improve their clients’ visibility, usually with a goal of increasing sales or other tangible benefit. In a corporate setting, you’ll often find advertisers and PR professionals working alongside each other in the marketing department along with people from related areas.
One of the biggest stories of last year was the chaos wrought by so called “fake news” articles and publications. Today people often call it by another name, propaganda. Using widely distributed media that tells half-truths in order to influence public opinion has been going on since Darius I took the Persian throne in 515 BCE. In America its been around since the days of yellow journalism and perhaps before.
Character is what you do. Reputation is what others think about you. One is objective, the other subjective. The character of a person is different than his or her reputation, and this holds true for brands as well.
74% of people say reviews increase trust
The rewards of having a good online reputation are greater revenues, better relationships, and more opportunities. Consumers have been shown to care about a company's reputation and purchasers' reviews. For example, a survey carried out in 2016, notes that 74% of potential customers state that when they read positive reviews, they have more trust in a local business.1
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.” Warren Buffet
Curating a positive reputation is very different than simply leaving it up to the random opinions of others. Online reputation management works to actively affect how a person or company is perceived by others.
There exists a type of PR agency that specializes in destruction rather than enhancement of reputation. Some of these agencies work for governments or politcal 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. It isn't just fringe groups, but the appartus of large governmental institutions like the National Security Administration (NSA). The NSA has apparently used negative online reputation management to discredit some peoples search results.
Honest review sites are an important and valuable part of the information ecosystem. Yet often search engines amplify what should be a whisper to a scream. Who are the players in the bad news ecosystem? Reputation X studied 1000 people and companies with online reputation problems and here's what we learned.
Chiptole will survive e. coli just like Jack in the Box did in 1993. But there is a 100% certainty a new threat will demonize some other company and destroy its reputation in the coming year. At the end of next year lists will be made of the biggest PR catastrophies. None of the players yet know they'll be next to dance at gunpoint. But who does the cleanup? There are often three pieces to a crisis management team: the internal team, third-party specialists, and ghost media consultants who work quietly in the background.
Foot, meet mouth.
We all make mistakes, some of which haunt us long after we thought we’d been forgiven. And now that there’s a permanent online record of society’s collective folly, it’s critical to avoid further unforced errors. Here are five online mistakes to avoid for the sake of your reputation: