You control your reputation
Editorial

You control your reputation

Bloggers, vloggers and review sites can now make – or break – the reputation of your brand, but don’t overestimate their impact. The ultimate power comes from how your organisation treats its own people.

Mastering reputation management is like trying to find a pair of glasses that are perched on top of your head. You can search high and low, but it doesn’t change the fact that they were with you all along.

The secret of exceptional reputation management is starting with your own organisation. It’s easy to get hot and bothered about what strangers are saying about your brand, out there on the internet – and yes, bloggers, vloggers and review sites can make or break the reputation of your brand – but don’t overestimate their impact.

Your colleagues or employees – the people you share a kettle with every day – have the power to be your biggest brand ambassadors. By showing leadership within the organisation and treating people well, you can assert control over reputation.

Bad hiring hurts your rep

If you’ve ever been rejected from a job you desperately wanted, you’ll know how much it hurts. A little time spent giving feedback and letting unsuccessful candidates down gently goes a long way.

You can bet that a candidate who feels they’ve been dealt with unfairly when applying to your company won’t slink away with their tail between their legs either – they’ll tell everyone with half an ear how Company XYZ is awful, and so (by proxy) is their product or service.

It might seem like a small thing in the world of reputation management, but bad hiring practices spark a negative experience that spreads like wildfire and can taint your reputation exponentially, especially with the rise of employer rating sites like Glassdoor.

The good news is that it’s easy to fix. Just make sure your hiring managers do right by your candidates.

Internal community management leverages network effects

More good news! You can glean value from Glassdoor by encouraging members of your workforce to share their (hopefully positive) experience. 

And community management within your company doesn’t stop there. If every person in a team of 50 shares a company blog post with their social networks, and each of those shares reaches a personal network of around 100 people, that’s 5,000 views. It costs nothing but a few minutes.

Encouraging your team to share positive press mentions and owned content, and to engage positively with your company’s output on social media, means you’ll unleash a mighty network effect. It could be a more efficient way to boost positive sentiment than commissioning a review.

Set the right tone everywhere

Every sales email, every customer support phone call, and every conversation a colleague has down the pub, has the potential to influence your company’s reputation.

Investing in solid brand guidelines and getting the entire company on board is compulsory, not optional, if you want to make sure those people are painting the right public picture of your brand.

Effective reputation management starts at home, so the control needs to remain firmly with you, and you need to address these areas as a first step. Go forth and build links, reel in reviews and network with bloggers till you’re blue in the face – just make sure you’ve got your glasses firmly in place first.

Corissa Nunn Freelance Journalist CPL
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