When you think of “reputation management,” you will likely picture one of two different scenarios. Traditional reputation management is often equated to crisis communications. Whereas online reputation management usually brings to mind cleaning up Google’s search results.
Both are important, but reputation management—online or offline—is more than triage and clean-up. When you hire either a reputation management firm or employ a reputation manager (Chief, Director, or Manager, the title doesn’t matter), you are investing in much more than just reputation repair. You are investing in bringing harmony between the character of your company and the various departments that contribute to your brand’s reputation.
So, where and how can reputation management protect and grow your company’s brand? It is both the glue that keeps your reputation strong across all departments and the grease that eases friction and smooths out issues.
- Does your website convey trust and leadership in your industry?
- Are your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts in compliance with Google?
- If a searcher Google’s your name, will they like what they see? Does it accurately reflect your character?
- Are your outbound efforts matching the expectations of your audience? Is your email frequency too high or too low? Are your retargeting ads too aggressive or too vague?
- Do your blog and social profiles post valuable, shareable information that strengthens your brand, or only press releases and sales pitches?
- Are you setting reasonable sales quotas or pushing them to close deals at all costs?
- Do you provide them with qualified, interested leads or ask them to spam inboxes and cold call?
- Are you listening to the feedback they provide? What are the most common reasons for losing a potential customer?
- Do you provide the materials that help them convey your company’s strength and trust?
- Are they involved before and after they close a deal?
- Do you blast out press releases and invade journalists’ inboxes incessantly? Or, are you connecting and engaging with them?
- Do you monitor what is being said about your brand on social media, news, and forums?
- Do you actively engage when you see stakeholder conversations about your brand, good or bad?
- Are you engaged in celebrating reviews and consumer-generated content?
- Do you nurture raving fans and brand ambassadors?
- Are you watching industry and competitor trends for opportunities or threats?
- Are they empowered to help a customer on all of your touchpoints?
- Do you collect feedback to pass on to other departments?
- Are you providing the information they need to answer difficult questions?
- Do you have a system for escalating to a resolution BEFORE the customer demands it?
- Have you set aside a budget for customer restitution?
- Are you transparent with employees about your company’s character and goals?
- Do you look beyond resumes and experience and focus on a passion for your company and industry?
- Embrace the diversity of opinion, cultural insights, and expertise of your employees. Your company’s character is not just a mirror of the CEO’s.
- Are your employees happy? Unhappy employees often mean unhappy clients, bad reviews, and a tarnished reputation.
Security & Quality Assurance
- Do you have plans for worst-case scenarios? Product defects, hacks, or outages?
- Are you actively listening to customer feedback? Not just hearing, but acting on feedback, concerns, and improvement suggestions?
- Are you investing in cybersecurity? Even a simple website hack could be devastating to your brand.
This summary is just the tip of the iceberg but, hopefully, you can see where a reputation manager can help your brand to reach the right audience, increase your customer base, keep them happy and engaged, and mitigate events that could undermine the investment you’ve made over the years to build a strong reputation.
If you’d like to learn more, have your reputation efforts audited, or simply connect, you know where to find me. 😉