If you are thinking about enlisting the services of a reputation management firm, then it is very important that you know what to expect. It is a relatively new area of online marketing, which means many don’t really know what to expect from these companies, or what to look for. Hopefully, the following will help reveal a little bit about what these companies are and how to find a good one.
What Is a Reputation Management Firm?
Not too long ago, reputation management was a subdivision of public relations. However, when the internet became more commonplace, it quickly developed into something bigger. As people suddenly had the opportunity to share negative information, whether it is true or not, all over the world, there was sudden need for professionals who could mitigate deliberate attacks by disgruntled employees, online trolls, and even the competition.
Essentially, public relations specialists who had focused most strongly on reputation elements started to branch out on their own. They had the contacts within the media to help report on untruths and to ensure the real story was spread across different outlets. While this is something that they continue to do, reputation management is now about much more.
A reputation management firm’s main responsibility is to stop information that could damage the public standing of an individual or company from becoming public. They do this by constantly monitoring the various sources where information is spread: the news, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, websites, social media, review websites, and more. Clearly, there are thousands of places where someone could spread negative information and reputation management firms must stay on top of all of them.
Much of the negative information that is out there in today’s world comes from unhappy customers. Hence, review websites are one of the main areas of work. A reputation manager not only monitors these websites and sources, they also reply to any comments that have been left. This is true for both positive and negative reviews. In so doing, they can help mitigate the potential damage done by a negative comment.
What they also do, however, is bring positive information to the foreground. As such, reputation management is now a more integral part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and less about public relations. This is because a reputation management firm tries to suppress negative comments, while making the positive ones easier to find. They do this by highlighting all the positives that are out there about a company, but also by creating new positive content. For instance, whenever a five star review is published, they will turn this into a YouTube video and write a press release to ensure the various outlets are aware of it. It is highly unlikely that a journalist will pick up on it and write a wider story, but the Google algorithms certainly will pick up on it, making it more likely the this is the information someone sees when they research a company, and not the negative review.