July 24, 2012
When it comes to online reputation management, content is king and good public relations firms are the kings of content.
These days, your website and the Internet act as the first handshake between your company and potential clients. To sustain a solid reputation, protecting your business’s name is vital. But some websites dedicated to consumer complaints are so popular that a single negative post about you company will almost instantly become a page 1 result when potential clients search for your company on major search engines like Google.
When someone positions your company in a negative light, the effects can topple your online reputation – perhaps fatally. Good reputation management can be the key to your survival. And the key to good reputation management is generating enough positive content to displace the negative reviews.
Studies show there is a less than 10 percent probability that a potential client will view search results past the third page. But generating three pages of links to positive information about your company is no small task. The job is so big, reputation management companies have approached us about creating the content they need to drive negative comments deeper into search results.
An SEO-savvy PR firm can do much more than generate content, and will likely be more successful than a reputation management firm at restoring and protecting your online reputation. Reputation management firms often use blog posts on free sites like Blogger to help offset negative reviews. Many use content written only to rank high on search engines. If you've hired one of these firms you've probably found that searching for your company's name turns up a bunch of non-nonsensical blog posts written by people with a loose grasp on the English language. They might push the negative reviews back a page, but they do nothing to promote your business.
A good PR firm will ensure positive coverage of your company and its products or services are featured on the most influential blogs about your industry, and will use its media contacts to generate positive coverage of your company on the most highly-trafficked news sites on the Web.
Reputation management must also include social media.
Ask an online reputation management firm how to counter negative comments on a social media site and you're likely to encounter a blank stare (or the online equivalent of a blank stare, transmitted to you from a company halfway around the world).
Social media has changed the nature of reputation management. Now you must not only counter negative reviews, you must be seen engaging with people who are unhappy with your company, its products or services. A good PR firm schooled in social media management can convert negative reviews into positive impressions of your company's willingness to listen and caring attitude toward customers.
For an example of a public relations firm's reputation management program in action, click here or copy and paste this url into your browser's address bar: http://www.axiapr.com/case-studies/axia-pr-generates-67-5-million-in-earned-media