Make PR and positive news your secret weapons to move ahead of the competition
With the popularity of online shopping and social media, the first interaction customers are likely to have with your company will be online. Therefore, it is vital to have a stellar online reputation, and PR, along with positive news coverage, can help.
What is online reputation management?
Research shows that prospects will complete more than 50 percent of the sales cycle before ever talking to a salesperson. They are gathering information, making product comparisons and forming opinions – and they’re doing it all online.
The data they collect could be from product review sites, social media postings or just a general search where they type in the name of your company or product. When potential customers find negative information about your company online, they may just decide to give their business to your competition.
Some people have the misconception that once negative information is out there, you can’t do anything to change it. While it’s true that you may not be able to have it removed entirely, you can monitor your image and make negative information less visible by putting out more positive information, attracting additional news coverage and changing the direction of the conversation. That is reputation management.
How is media coverage related to your online reputation?
News stories carry more weight with consumers, acting as a third-party endorsement for your company. Customers are more likely to pay attention to reports from a credible news source than the rants of a disgruntled consumer or former employee.
In addition, what the news story says also engenders that same seal of approval. For example, if the article extols the value of your product or lists your CEO as a thought-leader in your industry, most consumers automatically accept this information. Studies have shown that positive news stories also trump other methods of message delivery, such as advertising and website information.
Also, breaking news and trending stories typically jump to the top of search engine listings. Consequently, if your company appears in these stories, it can enhance your visibility and reputation.
Another vital fact to note is that prospects and customers aren’t the only people who see news stories. They can also affect other key stakeholders such as potential employees, investors and business leaders.
The importance of a PR firm for your online reputation and media coverage
Attaining positive media coverage is a full-time task. Your chances for media attention improve when reporters see your company or CEO as a go-to source in your field. Using a PR firm to handle all this for you means you don’t have to appropriate personnel and resources from other areas of your company to achieve this goal.
At Axia, we use the latest tools to monitor your reputation across all channels, show you how to respond to negative information and measure results. We are experts at pitching and building relationships with media to get you maximum news coverage. Contact us today or download our Online Reputation Management e-book to learn more about how we can help improve your reputation, increase media coverage and boost your profitability.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.