Most companies have no strategy in place to build and maintain an online reputation for their brands and executives. When a crisis hits, however, reputation management is suddenly a top priority.
In my experience, reacting to a problem is not nearly as effective as planning for one, which is why we encourage our clients to take a strategic, proactive approach to managing their online reputations. We believe that a strong foundation and plan are immeasurably more valuable than quick fixes or crisis control.
What would such a plan entail?
Without revealing the recipe for our secret sauce, here are some key questions we always ask when creating an online reputation game-plan for a client:
- Who is your primary online audience? Which key stakeholders will be most exposed to your presence online? (Think media, regulatory bodies, prospective partners and clients, employees, etc.)
- What story do you want them to see? What initial impression are you hoping to make?
- How does your online presence compare to that of your peers and competitors? What opportunities can you uncover through this analysis?
- How does your content hold up on your brand’s sites, in third-party articles, on social media and on crowd-sourced platforms?
- Is current information easily accessible to anyone searching your brand on the web?
- Are you familiar with the top messages, articles and websites that you want seen, as well as with those you’d rather not?
- What are the underlying causes of negative stories in your online presence? Old news, a lack of new news, a lack of voice?
- What are some of the potential threats to your reputation, and have you prepared for them properly?
Yes, this list is quite long, but these are questions that you should be able to understand and answer comfortably to ensure that your online reputation is securely supported by an actionable plan.
If you’d like to delve deeper and start to find the answers to these questions, contact us for a free consultation.