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Published June 11th 2014

Great Brands Are Built on Great Reputations

A Guide to Building Great Reputations is designed to help companies of all types and sizes understand how to manage their online reputation

Great brands are undoubtedly built on great reputations.

But in the fast-moving digital age, how do you go about preserving the integrity of yours?

When you’re working in an environment where potentially damaging content can be posted, seen and shared globally in an instant, what can brands do to protect themselves?

If things do go wrong, how do you counter the negative impact of less than positive content?

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As co-director of Igniyte, one of the UK’s leading reputation management agencies, I spend my time working in partnership with brands, businesses and individuals to overcome reputational risks.

In the last 12 months, we’ve seen more and more clients looking to external companies like ours for help promoting branded content & PR, ahead of external comments and opinion and it’s clear reputation has become a priority issue.

According to a Reputation Risk Report released by us this week, British brands and businesses say dealing with negative online content is now their number one commercial concern.

If they haven’t been affected already, they are well aware that they could be in the future.

That’s why they’re prioritising attempting to control content online and managing what’s being said about them – allocating time and resources to building the kind of robust online reputations clients demand.

Reputation is personal, it effects employees, families, shareholders, business owners and customers. Igniyte’s Report found that the price for neglecting your online profile is high, costing British SMEs an average of £46,815 to deal with.

More than half of the senior decision makers we spoke to had already been affected by negative content including bad reviews, malicious comments and mis-judged social media posts.

Another one in ten hated the way their brand was portrayed on the first page of search results but two thirds didn’t know how to go about dealing with it to create a more positive digital showcase.


And that’s the problem.

 

While brands have long been aware of the need to engage in the digital space – working hard to create conversations and impact – now that they are there and exposing themselves to public view, controlling what’s being said about them is proving tough. The dialogue is open but it isn’t always positive.

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Perhaps that’s why a further one in five of those we spoke to said tackling negativity has become the focus of their online strategy – ahead of winning followers, generating sales or raising brand awareness – and it could explain why ten per cent are calling in external experts to help.

But internal teams can play their part too. This week we launched a free ebook outlining some of these key concerns and suggesting ways to make addressing them even easier.

The guide demonstrates the importance of creating and maintaining a positive brand reputation and suggests ways of tackling or removing content that could be damaging.

As it makes clear, there are times when using external experts is the only way forward – especially when it comes to tackling legally dubious or sensitive content.

But for many managers, adopting a more proactive approach can be a positive first step towards regaining or holding on to control of your most precious asset – your brand’s reputation.


So what can you do?

 

Make your brand reputation more robust by:

  • Taking Control
    Make digital assets work for you in the search engines – the more content you produce and own yourself, the more control you’ll have.
  • Listening
    Set up alerts to help you monitor what’s being said about your brand or company terms
  • Think Legal and Check the Small Print
    Refer to Ts and Cs, check the right to have things removed on websites, and make sure privacy settings are set correctly on social accounts.
  • Be Self Aware
    Review how you communicate to your staff/investors/customers at every stage and level
  • The New PR
    Invest not just in PR per se, but in PR that will rank for your brand name terms. It’s all very well creating coverage but will it appear in the right places?

Download Igniyte’s Guide to Building Your Reputation Online here


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