How PR is out and Reputation Management is in

There is a saying that even bad publicity is good publicity, but that may work for Hollywood and that is not the case here. Reputation Management For.com conducted a study and learned that corporate crisis might very much result in online negative publicity, lowering the repute of the company. It was further found that most companies still tend to follow public relations and don’t see the value in ORM (online reputation management) until they get bonked in the head with devastating bad publicity. It’s in such situations that the effect of public relations becomes invaluable. Continue reading “How PR is out and Reputation Management is in”

Reputation management- A useful way to track the competition

Back in the day, if somebody wanted to bad-mouth your business, they had to risk their own reputation to do so. Nowadays they can do it with the aid of thousands of social networking and blog sites with complete animosity. If someone posts a false or a malicious comment or blog, they can go without being noticed – being one among the numerous sites online. So, it’s tempting and easy to be malicious.

Reputation management is more than a service simply for those people who have had negative content levelled against them online. ORM is predominantly for protecting your reputation and keeping it consistent for the entire duration. By paying attention to your customers, you can ensure that you are always offering them what they want, and can adapt your advertising as to attract other potential customers to your custom.

When you open the social media floodgates, you create a channel for people to come and ask help for their various issues. So they may either ask you questions about the various products or services, or it might be a disgruntled customer who is posting negative comments about you, because they are dissatisfied about your product or service.

It is important to monitor your business online:

  • If you need to take action against the negative comments you need to know exactly where and why they exist.
  • Find out what people are saying about others’ brands so that you can make sure your business is ahead in the competition.
  • Know the changing tastes of the people, so that you can adapt your advertising and products range accordingly.
  • It is essential to know of any many gaps in the market, so you can fill them before your competitors do.
  • Know what people type into search engines in order to find your products, so that you can adapt your website to include the right keywords.

If you cannot monitor your brand on your own, then you need to make use of the services of an online reputation management firm like Reputation Management For.com, who will do the trick of helping you build, regain and protect your brand name. We offer various services and packages and have great tools and systems in place to protect your name online; it will ultimately help you to have complete control of your business.

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.

Dudley do right for BP?

BP is making some serious PR changes quite like how political parties field local guys for elections Robert Dudley comes in waving the American flag. We hear about him talking of his times fishing and swimming in Mississippi growing up.  While outgoing CEO Tony Hayward has termed the oil spill crisis like “stepping out from the pavement and being hit by a bus”. He seems to be stepping down to appease the masses.

BP will have its first non-British CEO and this is sending a message to the US that they have someone who will think about their side of the story – someone who has a genuine interest in cleaning up the mess and someone who has admitted to facing colossal issues to tide over the problem. Bob Dudley sure seems like the man we need.

BP also needs to understand the horror people feel knowing that stringent security measures could have averted this enormous problem. Well there is also the politics of further deep sea drilling to considered and the oil lobby’s sheer power on the other side. BP has made quite a few PR duds to its credit, like  publishing full page glossy advertisements, censoring press and sponsoring events during the crisis. Hardly the right time to seem looking for PR and not to mention the neat retirement amount and pension fund that Tony Hayward is set to take away.

Whoever made a lot of the decisions that BP made needs to go and that is where the new CEO steps in. And this is what Dudley said..

“We will fulfill the promises we’ve made”

“Meeting our commitments is critical for BP’s long-term success. Taking over this role, I will not reduce my commitment in the region.”

“It’s not our intention to exit the U.S. nor do we believe we will have to. We fully intend to maintain those businesses and restore our position in the Gulf.”

Well, at this point people in the Gulf Coast are likely to be thinking talk is cheap, and leaves the rest of us with the worry – will oil companies be subjected to stricter laws, or not? Or is all this just a case of  ‘spilled milk’ or in this case oil?
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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.

BP’s Oil Cam PR Fiasco

BP’s decision to stream video live from the sea floor to show how they are managing the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may have seemed a good idea at the time: evidence that the company is technically committed to capping their spill. If all had gone well with the capping of the well, the video streaming might have been a PR coup. Instead the video has operated almost like a trojan horse undermining all their PR campaigns.

Problem 1: you only need to look at the oil “gushing” out to know that you are watching more than 5000 gallons a day entering the ocean. Combined with BP’s earlier refusal to allow researchers near the well, this live evidence has provided America with reality TV show from the ocean floor. The fact that the gusher is brown and therefore mud rather than oil does not change perception that BP has failed. The visual perception of failure allied with the increasingly rabid and hysterical utterances from the White House is stoking  the embers of a PR conflagration. For President Obama, approval ratings plummeting, this is all about allocating blame to BP and keeping it as far away from the White House as possible.

Not all Americans are responding in the same way. There is within the USA, an increasing sense that this disaster is a logical outcome of a situation where the country has an increasingly desperate need for oil leading to more and more marginal drilling.  This constituency does not necessarily hold BP to blame, but realises that all oil companies are behaving the same way. The cost of oil is enviromental disaster.

For BP (“Beyond Petroleum) the spill is increasingly uncontained, to the extent that analysts are talking of break up and takeover. In this torrid arena, CEO Hayward looks increasingly out of his depth, not helped by the disastrously absent chairman. At first BP seemed too relaxed about the spill, now they are looking incompetent. Their failure to marshall the facts of the argument and the failure of USA CEO to be able to clarify the events before the explosion made BP look incompetent. BP also failed to understand the full political context of their spill and the likely response from Obama.

As mud, oil and gas gush from the well, perhaps it has been failure in a smaller way. Why have BP not taken the opportunity to shape the news agenda by providing some interpretation of the live cam. Some text explanation of what viewers are seeing would have been technically simple and ensured that they debate could be swayed their way. Typically, BP have failed to set the agenda.

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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