Dictionaries cite corporate reputation management or public relations as synonyms, but for me that doesn’t paint the full picture. So, I polled some friends and got their definitions of online reputation management:
Realizing that the perceived value of your brand is defined by information found on the Internet; therefore requiring your constant monitoring and participation in these web conversations.“
- Andy Beal, Author of ”Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations Online
Monitoring the buzz and chatter about you or your brand on the Internet, proactively seeding good stories and information, and proactively addressing or correcting bad buzz/info.
- Carolyn Shelby, Online PR Expert
The BEST strategy for online reputation management is to not need it! You can avoid problems by simply doing your homework. A quick search on Google, Yahoo or even Mahalo can return thousands of potential weaknesses in your product, service, brand, campaign, etc. Did someone already think of your idea? Is there another service with your one-of-a-kind name? Is your concept perhaps in poor taste given recent industry or news? Is a certain technique or language out of date?
This is focusing on half of the old school SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses , Opportunities, Threats. In today’s web 2.0 world we spend ridiculous amounts of time marketing our strengths and forging our opportunities. How often do you not just think about your weaknesses and threats, but also collect specific information to support your strategy and understand your place in the greater world? I would wager that if you truly consider the missing pieces of the puzzle and account for them early on you will be ten times more successful.
So, take 5 seconds out of your busy day to do your homework and you could avoid a potential reputation management disaster. You have enough on your plate to begin with, tackle the small stuff before it grows.
And, help manage our reputation by adding us to your favorites: Technorati Profile
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