Blog | Marketing Madness

The Importance of Reputation Management

30/07/2012

Everyone has probably tried entering his name on Google or other search engines. Often, the search returns neutral and harmless results and will lead to social networking sites or blogs and similar sites. However, this is not always the case. Some individuals or groups will find that there are some negative, sometimes even malicious, comments, remarks, and attacks about them.

These can seriously damage a person’s reputation and can lead to lost opportunities.

Reputation management is the method of controlling the public’s opinion about an individual or group. Mostly what this means is replacing negative perception with a more favourable one. For businesses and other personalities, reputation management is not a new concept. What is new today is the venue where feedback is being given, disseminated and proliferated. The widespread use of the internet has made it a lot easier for some entities to spread malicious information and the foulest of attacks. As a result, online reputation management has become increasingly important, especially to brands and businesses, but also to individuals.

Where does adverse information come from? Negative feedback can come from anyone, from entities known or unknown, business contacts, clients, competitors, o reviewers. Where is this negative information found? These can be comments on blogs, forums, discussion threads, competitor site, the entity’s own site, social media, and similar online sites. What this means is that everyone who has access to these sites may see the unwelcome information about the entity.

There are many techniques employed by online reputation management practitioners but these can be broadly categorised as monitoring an online community’s opinions, controlling or managing these opinions, and endorsing positive opinions.

The importance of reputation management

Reputation management, particularly online reputation management, is very important. Its value depends on the entity whose reputation is being managed. For example, individuals protect their image for personal and business relationships. A bad image for individuals can mean lost employment and business opportunities. A good image also helps whenever an individual is being screened by a third party. It is important for the simple reason that some attacks may be embarrassing for the individual.

For businesses, a good online reputation is important mainly because of financial opportunities. Customer feedback about products and services are important and valued by most businesses but having negative information circulating on the web, where the company may or may not be asked about its side, is dangerous. Furthermore, some damaging feedback may not even be accurate. For businesses, image is equivalent to revenues and potential revenues.

The importance of reputation management cannot be disputed. The internet has made it easier for individuals and groups to promote themselves, but it has also made it easier and faster for others to damage a person’s or company’s positive image. Effective online reputation management can address concerns about an individual’s or business’ image.