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Maintaining your company’s reputation

By Marjorie Comer

Handling that first negative online article 


A perplexed woman looking at a negative review on a computer.As much as you believe your company won’t be affected by negative articles and reviews ranking in an online search, at some point, it will happen – and it can have a serious impact on your company. 


There are many places where consumers can leave negative reviews that can rank on page one when a prospective consumer uses Google to search for your company. That first negative review or even a new negative review can leave you and your company reeling and unsure of your next steps. It is important to understand how your company’s online reputation can change with a negative review. 


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When you know a website has negative content about your company, it’s easy to keep wanting to check the negative reviews and articles, but you must stop visiting the pages. Otherwise, you are contributing toward its popularity. As the site gains popularity, it will move up in search results and could rank higher than your company’s Facebook, Twitter, or even your homepage. Domain authority is important to your company’s online presence. 


On your own, how do you or your company find or hear about a negative article? One way is to set up Google Alerts to help monitor your company’s online presence. It’s a free and easy way to monitor news outlets and articles about your company, which can cover a negative article about your company but not necessarily a review on a site like PissedConsumer or RipoffReport.


Follow these five steps to handle the first negative article and to stop visiting the negative content.

  1. Start by entering incognito mode in your browser.
  2. Visit the negative content and capture the negative content pages by saving a PDF (control + P and select PDF instead of print or use GoFullPage - Full Page Screen Capture, a Google Chrome extension).
  3. Copy the site’s web address into a Word document or Excel spreadsheet so you know which sites have a negative review about your company
  4. Once you have the review noted and saved, stop visiting the site. That way, you can stop contributing toward its popularity for continued SEPR. 

By capturing the PDFs of the SEPR and overall negative content, you can reference and review these files when needed instead of going back to those live pages. Think about viral videos: they become well-known because people keep visiting, sharing, and rewatching the video. 


Don’t be part of the reason a viral video or negative review gains traction. Follow the steps above and capture the negative. Then establish an action plan, focus your efforts on revising or fixing the negative, and assign responsibility to capture future negatives. 


Don’t let a few bad apples spoil your company’s future and download our e-book Online Reputation Management to help you move from initial negative review to being proactive in managing your company’s reputation.


Marjorie Comer.Clients love Marjorie’s work ethic, speed and diligence. She has worked with Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Marjorie graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Learn more about Marjorie.


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Topics: reputation management, crisis communications, online reputation management

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