How important it is to reply to the reviews?

Replying to reviews on your website is an important part of your online process. It is time that business small and big should start thinking about this seriously. Reviews may be good or bad, responding to them adds to the credibility of the company. It is also a part of your online reputation management that sustains your online image. To remain aloof to reviews is an unprofessional approach which reflects on the reputation of the company.

But what needs to be dealt with care is how you respond to reviews, as part of your business goodwill you need to understand that you are addressing the issue brought up in the review. The review may criticize your way of doing business, and as a responsible business house you need to take it from there while clarifying your position. This move will induce confidence and respect and customers feel privileged that you responded to their likes. Review sites are great platforms to build a solid rapport with your business associates. Responding to reviews generates a feeling that you are taking seriously what is been said, and that you intend fixing the issue.

Reviews are a mirror to your business that shows where your business or brand stands. It clearly shows how people perceive your company. A chance to amend flaws or even mend what is lacking. Lately it has been seen that nearly every company in today’s era pay attention to what is been said online. The race is in keeping the company customer friendly and leaving no stones unturned to achieve that goal. Nevertheless doing so surely enhances the friendliness of the company and builds a positive image. One should be really objective when replying to the reviews, as it’s a part of official dialogue.

Being pro-active in answering to your reviews shows the users that you care about them and this enhances your goodwill. So companies need to take every chance to respond to reviews and critics as this is an integral part of your reputation management.

What can reputation management do for you?

Reputation Management services has become a key aspect for almost all companies. This dynamic service is coming to be regarded as a major boon for all businesses, brands, individuals and products who were victims of this so called reputation crisis. Your company’s reputation might be immaculate at present, but one can’t predict when the situation turns around.

Reputation management services might be something new, but in such a short span of time it has proven its mettle and has got recognition globally. From politician, sports personalities, celebrities, companies to doctors have all embraced it as yet another aspect or PR. It can’t be denied that many companies and brands are benefited with the effective tools of reputation management. No matter its a small business or a Fortune 500 company, reputation management service is meant for all.

It is debated that, the results of these reputation management services comes gradually and not in a haste. Well, to bring your reputation up is a systematic process needs patience, as this is a sensitive area. To promote a brand or key phrase and to optimize it correctly asks for time, and to further push down the negative results and at the same time bringing up positive contents needs a concrete strategy and proper allocation. Meanwhile the use of a pro-active SEO campaign is a smart way to bring up your brand image and reputation in search engines.

Many companies argue that, its really pain staking to sit and watch all negatives about the business, even after resorting to these reputation management services, but they have to understand the sensitivity of the issue. Reputation management campaign works as a process and it slowly weaves a positive image for your brand, making sure the credibility of your brand or company is never lost.

How it works :

After analysing the position of the company online, with the help of the articles, web pages, blogs and  pictures, the reputation management plan is designed.  After judging your present status online and by knowing how people perceive you, the repair works of your online reputation starts off.

As we all know ‘Google’ does an index of new pages fast, so by publishing blogs, web pages and articles about your company we can bring the positive side of your business. As your page gets cached by Google, you can work more stringently to rank those pages on the top searches. It can take a minimum of six months to get the results, but at the end of the day you are satisfied with what Google is coming up with about your company or brand . You have more control of your reputation and that makes all the difference!

Fame comes with a price – Social conduct and celebrity reputation!

Do you ever think before you act? If not, then better develop a habit of doing so, especially when you are a celebrity or known personality. Your behaviour has an immediate impact on your reputation, it might sound clichéd, but practically it makes a huge difference to your image and reputation.

Usually in case of celebs such reputation disasters occurs when misconducts or anger tarnishes their social image. Being vulnerable, a single false move can bring down the reputation drastically.
Behaviour and social conduct has a lot meaning and value when it comes to celebrities. Always in the limelight, these so called stars are social figures and their acts are watched by millions. Any bad conduct from their end can be axing their own feet. In many instance it has seen that, how celebrity image has fallen down by their misconducts or offensive acts. Whether it’s by being rude to the media or by having a foul mouth, violent behaviour in public is simply disgraceful.

Some of the offensive acts by the celebrities:

  • Lindsay Lohan was recently charged with carrying “contraband” found in her wrecked car.
  • Paris Hilton was sentenced to 45 days in jail for driving on a suspended license.
  • Mel Gibson verbally abusing and slapping his girl friend.

Robert Thompson, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University said “Celebrities behaving badly is certainly not an uncommon thing to find throughout history and it is certainly not going to fade away.”

To maintain and protect your reputation today is far difficult than the hardships you faced to gain that fame, as the adage goes, “With great power comes great responsibilities”. In the same way, it asks for great responsibility to sustain that fame and glory.

However, if you are looking to rectify your flaws, then we at Reputation Management For.com suggests, a concrete PR strategy and reputation management plan, which will help you to repair your lost image and resurrect from the damages. Reputation management even helps you to manage and enrich your reputation, and also helps to keep track of the status of your reputation. Celebrities and social figures are recommended to shield there reputation with a systematic reputation management plan, especially at a time when social networking has given people the space to air their views easily.

Can the Mel Gibson reputation ever recover?

Mel Gibson is once again in the news, well this time again not for his celebrity image, but the ‘Brave Heart’ actor seems to have lost it all. Gibson has been accused of slapping his ex-girl friend, Oksana Grigorieva twice on her face. If this was not enough, then the recorded racial slurs made by Gibson has put him in probably the worst backlash ever.

The list of charges don’t end here, a former mistress, Violet Kowal also came out with revelation to a magazine that, due to the threats made by Gibson she was forced to leave town and go into hiding for a month. With his super-celebrity status, Gibson has got many controversies to his name; he even made anti-Semitic statements during an arrest, where he hurled racist obscenities at police officers.
The Oscar winning actor is facing a hard time battling it out with all the allegations and charges which has already tarnished his reputation, with plenty of bad press and anger. Though these charges may be a few months old, its damage is still hitting the star’s reputation badly.
Top 21 google search results for Mel Gibson

A glance at the chart and its plain that there are more negative contents and news about the star, with nothing much positive to report on Gibson these days.

At Reputation Management For.com, we feel this could be the end of the road for Mel in reputation terms. While people associated with him are probably re-thinking their ideas about him, Gibson needs to judge the situation well, before doing any further damage to his reputation. His legal and PR team has to settle all the allegations, before it ruins the celebrity status of the actor. If by any chance he comes out clean from all the charges, then he needs to go in for a well-structured reputation management plan to repair the lost reputation and rebuild a positive image among the masses. As Robert Einstein said “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value”.

Reputation Management and HR

Does HR (Human Resource) play an effective role to strengthen your reputation? This has been a long debated topic! Well, being the most essential and valued part of any business HR to a large extent plays an active role in shaping the reputation of your firm. HR represents the company’s reputation internally which is most valued and includes answers to what the employees feels for the company, or do they seek a role in the firm, etc. It may seem a passive factor, but it’s a most vulnerable area, where most companies falter.

Building up a good PR and reputation internally in the company reduces more than half the chances for a firm to risk its reputation.

Monitoring the internal reputation is something which most of the companies overlook; HR needs to analyze the feedback from the employees. To act unaware increases the probability for the company to earn a bad name from its own employees, this further spreads like a virus, damaging the bonhomie. To have an effective HR department reduces the risk of such internal unrest and keeps the company’s reputation protected from any employee criticisms in social networks.

Social media too develops a strong link among employees and the company, bringing in a blog or message board helps to know what the employees are looking for or facing or lacking, and gives the company the space to restructure its plans accordingly. Employees’ interest account most for any firm to stand strong, and if the employees lose trust from the firm then nothing can be done. With over 1 billion blogs and other social networking sites it’s really easy to get a bad name, and when such negative stuff comes out from your own employees’ mouth then the damage is even worse.

Reduce the risk of a bad image for your business and keep your reputation high with happy employees and their positive image of the company with effective Human Resource Management.

Dow Chemicals sinking reputation

Dow chemicals, one of world’s largest chemical producing companies seems to be in some disarray following  the renewed controversy over Bhopal. Their brand ideology is built around the combination of science and technology with the “Human Element”included.

Why should Bhopal impact Dow who only bought Union Carbide fifteen years after the disaster at Bhopal? They can rightly claim no involvement with the disaster. The counter argument is that Dow bought everything including the reputational risk of Union Carbide at the same time. Has it come back to bite them. This question is especially pertinent in the light of the Mexico Oil Spill: if Amoco was to buy BP would they also suffer from ongoing reputation risk in the years ahead?

Dow has a number of worries: the damage claims of its subsidiary Dow Corning’s silicone breast implants;  and now the world’s worst ever industrial catastrophe, the Bhopal (India) Gas Tragedy.  It’s enough to worry any CEO, let alone brand director.

Vouching the fact came the recent reputation rating analysis undertaken by Reputation Management For.com which highlighted how the company used to refurbish its image to some repute among its clients and employees. The study also suggested the need for a crisis management with a strong PR to regain the credibility among the masses.

Being  driven by so much anger and frustration of the masses, Dow needs to show responsibility and compensate for all the negligence and communicate to those affected. This will send out a strong message that Dow, is a concerned company. The company even needs to take a strong stand by coming out and presenting its side rather than staying aloof, or else the day is not far when this largest chemical producer would be more known as a killer company, even as their reputation takes a beating.

Air India flying low

Battling with a damaged reputation and internal unrest!

The national carrier of India, “Air India” seems to be in a complete disarray after a series of recent incidents jolting the reputation of the nation’s oldest airlines. Even before Air India could resurrect its image from the tragic crash in Mangalore which killed 158 passengers, another blow came with a strike called by Air India employees unions.

The internal unrest among the employees and management is due to faliure of the management to follow through on its latest verbal agreement to pay the lowest paid employees by July 3. The lowest paid unionized employees make less than $100 a week. Employees were angered with their pay being delayed at a time when the airline continued to buy new planes. This sorry state highlights the distorted image of the national carrier being plagued by chronic indiscipline. They lost credibility and with the mounting pressure to stay ahead in the race, Air India seems to have lost its track. This series of crisis exposes Air India’s inability to deal with crisis management. Here is what Air India’s spokesperson had to say to CNN IBN :

“We will not tolerate any strike. Striking employees will be subject to loss of wages and productive incentives.”

Left with a cumulative loss of about Rs 8000 crore, a battered reputation, and unsatisfied employees and customers, the international carrier will have a hard time to regain its respect. Absence of a solid PR is something they need to bring in to salvage their reputation. With competition and competitors looming high, Reputation Management For.com does not think Air India can afford to take this luxury to give PR a miss. High time they mend and sort the crisis before its too late to fasten their seat belts.

Online Reputation Management and Social Networking

Have you given a thought on what social networking can offer your company or brand? Well, almost all big or small businesses and brands seem to have adapted to  social networking. Many embraced it as a new fad in the communication scene, whilst some took it as a tool to market.

But do you know that social networking sites can boost up your online reputation and brand value as well? There are a huge number of social networking sites today like, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Ning which have transformed the style of communication and networking to a great level. Apart from millions of individuals and organizations; more than half of the Fortune 100 companies possess a Twitter account. These sites give the platform and space to share information and expand the network easily.

A recent study has even revealed that social networking has been a great help to build and maintain employee engagement and brand reputation.  Twitter and Facebook are those management tools which have come up to pave a way for a forum or open dialogue, bringing your reputation in a more positive light.

It even tells what  people have to say about your product or brand and what you are missing out. It may sometimes be a threat for your reputation, but by responding to allegations you can limit your  damages quickly and can rectify things better. It is essential to understand what all is being said on social networking sites, a wrong statement can be a threat to your reputation. What all you say, remains influential to your brand. The positive use of these sites can reinforce your brand and online reputation is what we can take away from all this.

Corporate Reputation Management – Your business needs it!

Your brand is the most essential part of your business. Have you ever thought of how people view or value your brand? You may be running a big company, or may have a team of professionals, and generate a lot of revenue, but everything falls short when you lack  sound corporate reputation management.

You may find it odd, but its true that external factors affect your business, it can be either a negative effect or a positive one. Corporate reputation management helps you to have a control over your business.

Studies suggest that only 9% of companies in the Fortune 100 list have control over their respective business or brands. This was based on the top ten listing shown on the first page of search engines and on how many of those top searches were owned by the said company.

Corporate reputation management rolls out a strategic plan to establish a control over the search results shown on the first page and even makes sure that the contents shown are all positive. It is very important to have a control over your business to maintain that positive online reputation. But it was also noticed that many big companies including the Fortune 100’s have negative comments about their products in the top page of Google. Beware! This will dampen the value of your brand in the long run, if not dealt properly.

Many business houses remain ignorant about the importance of online reputation management and bad press. But there are firms that deal with the company’s reputation and provide concrete SEO based reputation management solutions to overcome their reputation crisis and restore the lost sheen.

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How ignorance can damage your online reputation

Being ignorant about socializing on Internet can ruin your company’s online reputation without you knowing it. Blogging about your companies internal matters, tweeting about any disgruntled customer, talking about the company disputes on facebook, can send out a negative impression about you, and in return you may be damaging your own reputation. We tend to forget that reputation is made or lost on these social networking sites, which has taken over everything these days.

A small flaw committed online can cost you a lot, there’s always a danger in conversations you make about your company online, every word you put up can create a ruckus for your business online. Study suggests that big reputation blunders are done on these social media sites, where people ruin their company’s image by making comments which raises a question on the credibility of their brand.

Another factors are emails and forums where you discuss and seek public opinions about your business issues, unknowingly putting yourselves in a state of judgement. The message is loud and clear,  you have an issue at hand and your company’s reputation is at stake.

These common yet essential factors do play a decisive role in making or breaking your companies online reputation. Be careful what you discuss and post online viz-a-viz about your company. An ignorant statement can take your hard earned online reputation to no returns.