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How to manage your reputation online? – Experts debate

Do you feel in control of your online reputation? The internet continues to radically challenge the business of public relations. Information about you and your organisation isn’t just in the hands of the media, it’s open for anybody to discuss publicly and is searchable.

Episodes of The Thick of It or Yes Minister come to mind when it was journalists who we should be primarily concerned with. Times have changed significantly as global crisis such as O2’s loss of network coverage impact more than just the newspapers, but are spread across social networks.

We live in a time when only an integrated approach to reputation management makes sense. The public relations industry recognises this, but reputation online is an in-depth area where a balance between theoretical and practical perspectives are required.

This is why Lansons organised an event on managing reputation online as part of Social Media Week London. It’s a critical area that we believe needs better representation at Social Media Week; challenging the notion that social media is just about consumer campaigns.

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Our expert panel represented different corners of the industry in a debate aiming to share their knowledge and answer our questions about reputation management. Here are some of the interesting points and some key themes that were brought into the foreground within the 3 categories of law, reputation and social during the debate: 

Reputation

  • It’s important to take a holistic approach to reputation management. There is a balance between reputation and sentiment, and it is important to understand the differences between them.
  • Reputation can seem like an intangible concept but putting it in the framework of enterprise risk instead can make it seem more viable.

 

Social

  • The brand gets mentioned 0.01% of the times on social media, but there are a million other conversations going on around this, which you need to be aware of, so we must find different ways to monitor reputation.
  • A micro – influencer may be much more effective than a high profile/ expensive brand ambassador. Due to the power of social media individuals now have a very effective voice, especially as authenticity is key when it comes to successful brand ambassadors.

 

Law

  • Public relation professionals and lawyers need to work together from the start, as legal input on data being collected on social media is invaluable. 
  • A key issue is anonymity and speed of dissemination when measuring reputation. Courts are now providing support for these cases by awarding aggravated damages for intent to de-frame reputation on a viral level

 

So what does this mean when it comes to dealing with your online reputation?

Appropriateness and tone are critical to effective responses in reputation management. One of the best ways to avert a crisis can be humour as it looks natural, however it can take a lot of preparation. Therefore it is important to really understand your audience, especially as the media now acts alongside a direct connection with the audience online. Within social media, people tend to be organised into sub-communities and are quite fragmented. Therefore it is important to listen and categorise.

 

If you would like more information follow the hashtag #SMWreputation and contact the Lansons Digital Team at online@lansons.com