Doctors’ reputation and online reviews

From restaurants to hotels there are reviews for just about everything and doctors are no exception. There are millions of critics eager to post their last night experience about a chicken dish or grumble about a lethargic service and they will find a place to post them.  Similarly websites like ratemd.com or angislist.com is a place where users post comments about their physicians. A Doctor will have hundreds of happy patients, but it only takes one bad review to trash a Doctor’s online reputation.

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Chris Myers Rumours and William Hague Reputation

Though unconfirmed stories of William Hague’s sexuality have been circulating in Westminster for some time now; with the emergence of the first hint of allegations surrounding his 25-year-old special adviser, Christopher Myers, rumour mills have been abuzz with the latest updates from his personal life. The fact that he hired a third adviser when his predecessors had just two after David Cameron has pledged to cut back on political advisers, was in itself a subtle nod towards the homosexual relationship rumours.

A series of pictures that showed Hague and Myers strolling in London had raised fresh queries about the nature of his friendship with his “special” adviser. The newspapers came up with more stories about the foreign secretary’s private life, questioning whether there had been a misuse of public money in the appointment of Myers. Hague, the coalition’s most senior minister is in indeed in a tight spot, as inquisitive journalists have filed Freedom of Information requests seeking information on the nature of trips  undertaken by Myers, how much he was paid and his detailed job description.

Things were far from smooth in Downing Street after the appointment of Myers, a 25-year-old with little expertise in foreign affairs, which ultimately boiled down to the resignation of Myers. Many Tory members felt that he should have had a job in Hague’s parliamentary office because he is a key adviser in Hague’s Richmond constituency and not as his adviser.

Downing Street was never pleased with the way Hague handled the matter and many Conservative members had expressed their displeasure in the messy handling of the issue by Hague. In the wake of these allegations Hague released a personal statement revealing highly personal details about his marriage and his firm commitment to his wife in an attempt to dispel rumours about his sexuality and to safegurad his online reputation. The dramatic statement by Hague, who confirmed that Myers had decided to resign because of the pressure of “untrue and malicious allegations” about him, came after rumours hit the webspace.

He seems to be doing what should be done if the allegations are true by going into details of his marriage. Somehow the story seems to be just unfolding!

Few gentlemen bring disrepute to cricket

Just a few weeks back when we wrote about ‘How Pakistan’s bad reputation is affecting the flood aid’ here you have yet another story involving Pakistan for all the wrong reasons. This time it’s the Pakistani cricket players who are accused of bringing the gentleman’s game to disrepute. The allegations against them are ‘spot-fixing’ in the current England- Pakistan Lord’s Test. This one incident has proved that cricket is marred by corruption and Pakistan players have cemented this belief.

The worst of its kind in cricket’s history, this organized corruption undermines the credibility of the game. This adds more to the suspicion that you are watching a game that is already fixed. There is all kind of noise in the media and public looking to throw any player out of cricket if they are found guilty.

Cricket may be like just another sport, but in Pakistan this game is a passion which often does the diplomacy act to bridge difference and gain mutual respect with other nations. As the country is going through some trouble waters, this latest controversy will perhaps snub the Pakistan team from cricket.

Cricket is going through its worst time as a professional sport. Pakistan, though they have strongly condemned the act and for putting the nation to shame by the players, the country should think about how to balance and who to whip before the member countries decides to isolate them on cricket and otherwise.

Coming back to game, when you know cheating flourish in cricket in all forms, watching a match next time will be absolutely pointless. Cricket governing authority (ICC) should put its house in order before the sport loses its reliability. Nothing destabilizes the integrity of any sport other than the feeling that what you are watching is in pure sporting drama.

HP reputation – fired CEO gets $28 million to leave

The high profile CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co, the world’s biggest technology company had to step down under a smokescreen set off by a sexual harassment case filed by a lady marketing consultant who was working for him. Mark Hurd, who was connected to 28 board members in 3 different organizations across 5 different industries was one of the most powerful figures in HP and was the architect of the work culture and success of this technology giant. It is ironical that the CEO Mark Hurd was in discussion for a new contract worth about $100 million, when he got marching orders that came with a purse of $28m, one third of the contract value that he was eyeing at that time.

HP said that it ousted Hurd after its investigation of a sexual harassment complaint found he had falsified expense reports and other documents to conceal a relationship with a female contractor who worked for HP. The sudden and shocking departure pf the HP CEO took the stock markets by surprise and HP’s shares tumbled sharply by over 7%  as the first reports were flashed. Though HP maintained that the change of guard at the helm of affairs will have no bearing on the prospects of HP, investors opted to take a wait and watch policy.

The Mark Hurd episode became the overnight talking point for many journalists and anxious investors, which in turn left a dent on the online reputation of HP. However, HP was quick to act and ensured its brand protection by removing  Hurd. In the coming days, how best  the company recovers its lost ground would be of great concern for not just the share holders of HP but also millions of  HP brand  loyal customers and technology buffs all over the world.

Your Business on Google Places

Six in Ten consumers have confirmed that their decision on where to buy, which hotel to stay and where to travel is purely based on the experience of others. So does your business have a hold on its online reputation?

Google’s two ways conversation for business reviews on its Google Places is an extension of your business to respond to online reviews. As a result, business owners can retort to both negative and positive reviews for their businesses which are left on their Google Places profile.

One of the best things about Google Places is its ability to allow average or small business owners to control their reputation online. Unlike before when customers and clients leave feedback, comments and reviews in website and business owners had no way to respond to those reviews.

Google’s John Maguire states

Engaging with the people who have shared their thoughts about your business is a great way to get to know your customers and find out more.

Google Places allow business owners to deal with their reputation in a better way because this allows them to respond to reviews both positive and negative with same perception as the reviewer. Business houses have to take ownership of their listing; many businesses do not maintain ownership of their Google Places listing which results in damaging their reputation and their business while the business owners remain ignorant.

How we deal with the Ripoff Report menace

To begin with, let me say that it’s no menace at all. Ripoff Report is just one of the many obstacles that any dedicated reputation management team can overcome. There are clients who approach us all worried about this so-called menace, making inquiries as to how this can be legally handled. Our job begins with explaining to them as to what it’s all about. We tell them that Ripoff Report presents a platform for people to air their grievances and complaints, but obviously people, those with vested interests, make use of the platform to deliberately cause disrepute to a company against which they have a personal grudge or which is a rival on the professional level. Google, or for that matter any search engine, brings that to the fore of searches; simply because this is what search engines are purported to do- work with all focus on keyword optimization and such factors that can be manipulated and worked in favor or against.

Ripoff Report makes it a point to say on their site, “Ripoff Report has been sued on many occasions based on the content which our users have created and posted. If you are considering suing Ripoff Report because of a report which you claim is defamatory, you should be aware that to date, Ripoff Report has never lost such a case (with one exception; explained below). This is because of a federal law called the Communications Decency Act or “CDA”, 47 U.S.C. § 230.”

As reputation managers we know how to deal with Ripoff Report threats that our clients face. We first convince our clients that it’s no menace at all and then set out to tackle it, meeting it face-to-face. We can do better keyword optimization and come up with loads and loads of premium and above-all real positive ones, which can work towards pushing the Ripoff thing down.

This may be a slightly longer process but it is the one thing that works always!

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”.

BP’s pay per click campaign to Fix Brand Reputation

BP, caught in the oil slick is trying hard to retain its lost ground by fixing its damaged online reputation by investing heavily in Google adwords that will reroute the searches to the BP’s initiatives to manage the oil spill rather than the loss and environmental disaster caused by the spill as such! In an attempt to put back the derailed brand reputation of BP after the Gulf oil spill, BP has shelled out a fortune in its pay per click campaign by bidding on keywords in Google, Yahoo and Bing to filter search engine users and to guide them to their sites instead of letting them stray into other sites, where the users might  find the horrible effects and natural disaster caused by the oil spill.

The keywords like oils spills and Gulf oil spill are some of the many queries BP is currently bidding on. It’s been suggested that BP is spending upwards of $10,000 a day to maintain the top spots. This brand protection move is a smart tactic to minimise the damages caused by the gulf oil spill  and to retain its customer base.  The present Google search come up with well orchestrated results like info about Gulf Mexico spill and learn more about how BP is helping instead of  the oil spill as such!

However, the mood of social network users like twitter and face book has reached  the levels of accusations where people have  rated the negligence of BP as nothing short of   “Accidental terrorism”, and there has been many angry reactions including  the launch of the Top Kill initiative, and the call to boycott BP. Thus  at the end of the day, the customers wont be ready to buy the story if BP is not doing enough to fix the problem and to pay damages for the clean up operations.

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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.