After a full week of Christmas, most of which I really enjoyed but as always, sprinkled with stress, demands and status quo, I decided to sit down and take a rear-view look at 2013, the year of online reputation management. Though it is has really been around since the social social media craze began, the global recognition of reputation management within business plans and personal protection has only been over the last few years.
Call me a Grinch for writing a sour-faced article at the end of the year, but it has be done and hopefully can be of some help.
Cookie-cutter reputation management
The unfortunate thing about emerging industries is the fever by which venture capitalists and investors approach it. We see this all the time in the digital space with over-glorified marketing for low quality products and services, designed to make a quick buck on the masses. Sometimes the product is good and then when it is time to go national or global, it deteriorates in value.
I like to use the term “cookie-cutter”. It means, marked by sameness and a lack of originality; mass-produced.
Cookie-cutter solutions enter into almost every market and in the case of online reputation management 2013 has seen the same old sad tale of low value services appear in the market. Outsourced to low-grade content producers, little or no strategies and almost no personalisation.
Reputation Management Costs
After assessing over a dozen of the top “broad public” reputation companies it seems like the industry average for an ORM campaign (online reputation management) is about $5,000. This could be for a month of work or for exactly stated service period.
Reputation.com packages and prices
The pricing seem’s legitimate and the value of good reputation management services is far more than this, but then we come to the next problem. Looking closer at the terms & conditions of every one of these companies we see this:
- They cannot guarantee the service will be effective,
- No refund on works done even if the result is not achieved.
Take a look at Reputation.com’s terms on their Defender package.
Such laughable terms. They will not guarantee the result agreed upon originally. What kind of service is that? That’s like a plumber saying, “I will charge you for your boiler repair but cannot guarantee it will be repaired”.
I am not here to take a knock at Reputation.com as unfortunately they are just one of the many with similar terms. And at $5,000 for a basic package, you would expect some sort of guaranteed result.
Before enlisting an online reputation management company to protect your reputation, take a look at the fine print, as the key questions and demand a guarantee in writing before paying anything. Like Massive, there are other smaller firms out there who will do reputation management on contingency.
Good luck and Happy New Year!