Founded in 1911 by two salesmen in London, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in London has been home to many of the marketing Greats in the UK with recognition from the Prime Minister as the “reception place for successful businesses”.
A training conference held at the CIM in London was hosted by the UK law firm Pitmans LLP to cover essential case studies and new insight into social media, defamation law and online reputation management in the UK. Massive’s Co-founder and CEO, Brook Zimmatore was asked to be a featured speaker at the event.
- Developments on UK defamation law
- Proactive steps to avoid a bad online reputation
- Making good on bad reviews or feedback
- How not to respond on social media
- Removing negative content through legal, arbitration and other strategies
- Strategies to create ‘web barriers’ of positive content
Brook started his dialogue with a quote from John F Kennedy:
“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” — JFK
The emphasis on this statement was that brands and individuals needed to consider the imminent possibility of an online crisis or reputation damage. If this is fully understood then proactive measures can be setup and actively worked on which will “cage the beast” should it be unleashed.
Online Reputation Management Vs Crisis Management
Though blood brothers in their own right, these two services are widely different in many ways.
Online reputation management could be defined as, “Those online search-related actions which are proactive and defensive against future or existing internet defamation.”
Crisis management could be defined as, “Preparing for predictable and quantifiable crises as well as unexpected and unwelcome events. And, to minimise the impact of a foreseeable event and to plan for how the organisation will resume normal operations after the crisis.”
From the above definitions you can see that Crisis Management covers a broader scope of services and could itself have reputation management as one of its products. [This topic was discuss in an article last month]
Brook went on to cover the online reputation strategies required to proactively protect an online image by dominating the first few pages of search results for all major variations of a brand’s search terms, plus any applicable negative terms which may be used in the future. Examples:
- [brand name]
- [brand name] [location]
- [brand name] Reviews
- [brand name] Scam
Building an impenetrable “Digital Wall”
The first step in proactive reputation management is the building of digital assets. These are simply, powerful search results which show up for the desired search terms. This will create a wall of sorts, which negative content will have a hard time overcoming.
Where other reputation management companies fail is when they use “cookie-cutter” solutions to try pad these digital assets with poorly designed websites, badly written code, paid followers and shares, no content value or worse, content spinning. Such practices are so valueless that for brands with a fairly strong online presence these “digital assets” will do nothing for reputation protection but may in fact cause further problems to their reputation.
True online power comes with quality:
- Build and maintain strong social accounts with real interaction (not automation)
- Create platforms/websites which can be used, interacted with or act as a resource for visitors
- Go crazy on getting real press through mainstream media channels
- Keep the above fresh and updated
The strategy above, worked on hard enough, will give the digital wall needed to ward off unwanted search results. Done strategically with intelligent content use, you can have almost every search variable covered and be well on your way to to an impenetrable reputation.
The following article’s topics were covered at the conference: