How to fix your online reputation
Lousy brand reputations seem to be a dime a dozen these days, and every PR nightmare is broadcast to the world on social media in a comparatively brief span of time.
If you’ve taken a stroll through a brand’s YouTube or Twitter opinions or @replies, you’ve probably already discovered that commenters are ruthless about phoning out firms if they see fit–and more than ever, they have multiple online platforms for doing this. The comment section will suck, but with active reputation management, it is possible to discover smart ways to react to almost any PR hiccups.
We’ve watched through our hands as big businesses like Uber, Pepsi and United Airlines have embarked on their PR train-wrecks with varying degrees of recovery. While we concur that BadPress.Sucks, sometimes it just cannot be averted (okay, in the case of the above brands, odds are most of the nightmares could have been avoided). But if you’re a business who’s experiencing the lingering ill effects of a muddied reputation, we’ve produced a no bullshit manual of best practices for reputation management.
If criticism or tragedy strikes, be ready to respond quickly, politely and earnestly. Research shows that addressing any problems and getting a message out as early as possible reduces the impact a crisis will have on a company’s reputation. The moment you hear the word of a news story or viral article that could negatively influence your brand, make a public announcement addressing it, and be as real as possible. After all, insincere apologies suck.
The combo of corporate speak and an apparent lack of remorse drew criticism and further worsened the company’s reputation. If you or your company are being criticized relatively and frankly, take responsibility. Explain how you expect to change things from the future to prevent a similar problem from happening.
Handle Your SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital in today’s online universe. Scandals and wicked messaging will turn your Google Search outcomes right into a swamp of terrible press. The very last thing you need is for your brand to be associated with keywords like “bad service” or even “rip-off.” Following a PR catastrophe, you should attempt and wash up your Google search results by creating new content. Aggressively cultivate favorable, highly-searchable content, either via your blog or as a guest writer on another popular website.
Set up a Google Alert to your company name or brand new. If you’re cited for a negative or positive comment, an alarm will come straight to your email inbox. This allows you to address any issues as soon as possible, hopefully before they become a more significant problem than they will need to be. Spend some time devoting positive commenters and cultivating powerful online relationships with your reviewers. It is essential to be reactionary into the good and the bad, to help promote positive connections with your company and demonstrate that your customers are a top priority throughout the board.
There’s no shame in not understanding how to address a PR mishap. Emotions might interfere with your ability to respond cordially and professionally–which makes sense, given that the Internet can put brands via a suitable (and occasionally undeserved!) lynching. Sure this will cost you. However, your brand’s reputation is a priceless asset that has to be protected above all else.
You need your customers to feel reassured when choosing your service or product. Using the tips above, you can prevent significant PR pitfalls.