Corporate Reputation – What Is The Worst That Can Happen?
What is the worst that can happen if you have a poor online corporate reputation? Your sales and revenue can plummet and you can be forced to close your business; that is the worst-case scenario. It is vital that organizations of all sizes and individuals be proactive in protecting their brand and corporate reputation both in the offline and online world. Poor reviews written by unhappy customers, negative comments posted by bloggers or other forms of online media can drive the value of your brand down. There are also unethical businesses, your competition that can launch comprehensive negative campaigns against your company by posing as customers while posting negative comments and reviews about your business practices, products or services, and other information that is detrimental to your business’s reputation.
A negative online corporation reputation can adversely reduce your ability to secure funding, make investors leery and drive the price of your stock down. This can result in the stalling of expansion plans, launches of new products, and other consequences that can harm your ability to stay in business. Today, investors, lending institutions and potential customers are savvy and know to search online before handing over money to any business. The importance of maintain a strong corporate reputation is clearly visible when examining a variety of smaller business examples, including sellers on Ebay or Amazon. On these sites sellers often receive bad feedback from their customers if they are not responsive, shipping takes longer than expected or the product is inferior, among other matters. Ultimately, these online entrepreneurs do not last long in today’s competitive marketplace. Businesses of all sizes must actively work to ensure that their business practices, products, and their reputation are in harmony. Larger business examples include businesses that have publically traded stocks; if negative information is “leaked” about a product recall, unethical trade practices, or other information, investors may quickly sell-off stock resulting in a drastic loss in business value.
Online reputation management professionals and companies scour the internet for their clients to find negative information, reviews, comments embedded in blogs, articles, news posts, forums and other areas. Once located, these professionals work to have the information removed from these sites. This can be accomplished through simple written requests to the owners of the websites, or businesses can take a more formal and legal action by proceeding with an injunction or lawsuit. Additional tactics for repairing a brand’s reputation online include a positive campaign that seeks to outweigh the negative information. This type of communication plan incorporates an aggressive social media campaign to raise visibility, proactive blogging, and the encouragement of current customers to write positive reviews. A combination of having negative information removed and the launch of a proactive positive campaign can help you to regain your positive corporate reputation online.
The increasing need for online reputation monitoring and online reputation management has led to a plethora companies popping up all over the web, promising to be able to quickly and easily fix your reputation online. However, few of these reputation management companies have the expertise needed to counteract a comprehensive negative online reputation. You must look for a business that has the necessary experience to ensure that your brand and corporate reputation is handled effectively. Public relations and investor relations professionals that have branched out into the online world as well as individuals with journalism experience that are tech savvy are good options. These online corporate reputation management companies need to have the state-of-the-art technology backing them up. Look for companies that have experience and success in removing negative information from: forum posts, consumer reports, blog posts and comments, social media platforms, videos on YouTube, and more. Additionally, negative information can be counteracted through a positive campaign that incorporates a proactive and positive approach in social media platforms, blogs, news feeds, forum posts, and more. This effectively lowers the value of any remaining negative information indexed online.
Removing your business name from the major search engines is not viable; every business today needs a presence on the web to capture potential customers. However, a negative corporate reputation can harm your chances at funding, stir investor confidence, and simply drive potential customers away. All of these issues together can cause a severe and immediate drop in your revenue. Bad news and negative information can take on a life of its own; studies show that negative information about an individual, event, or company is twice as likely to go “viral” as the cute puppy video everyone is talking about. Once the negative information goes viral, it can be nearly impossible to fix. That is why it is essential that you have a corporate reputation management team that is constantly scouring the web for any negative information so that together you can stay ahead of the situation.