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Posts Tagged ‘Reputation Management’


Reputation Management Lessons to be Learned from Tiger Woods' Mistakes

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It can take years to build a brand, but minutes to destroy it. Brand spokespeople can be a brand’s own worst enemy by inadvertently inflicting wounds that could lead to the brand’s untimely demise. Luckily, the American public is quite forgiving. You just have to go about it the right way. This requires some reputation management expertise that, unfortunately, Tiger Woods doesn’t seem to have.

The first lesson in reputation management is to shift the public’s anger and resentment (or even hate in some cases) to the actual misconduct itself and away from the person/business that did the misconduct. This is because public sentiment depends on how you respond to rumors of misconduct rather than on the misconduct itself.

The second lesson in reputation management is to plan for crisis management. If you have both an operational and a communications response, you will hopefully maintain confidence in your brand among key stakeholders such as customers, employees, investors, and suppliers.

The third lesson in reputation management is to start early. Tiger waited way too long to comment on the media rumors about his indiscretions and the rumors blew way out of proportion. No comment or too little comment from you gives others permission to comment on your behalf, leaving more room for rumor and speculation. Commenting early will put you in control of the story.

And the final lesson in reputation management that is to be learned from Tiger Woods’ is to make sure there are no information leaks. You need to make sure your public relations teams or departments aren’t speaking with any outsiders or media. Word travels fast, so confidentiality is key.

Reputation management is a tough job because you need to keep in mind how people react to certain things. You need to understand human behavior at a sociological and psychological level. These few lessons will help you stay ahead of your game, but it’s probably in your best interest to hire an online agency that does reputation management. An online agency will not only have the know-how, but also the connections to properly perform some crisis management. And while they’re doing that, you can continue to focus on your business.

Marketing Solutions Company the Wave of the Future

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The New Jersey advertising agency of the future will have to adapt to the changing ways of the business world.  Instead of distinguishing themselves between specific disciplines, such as just a reputation management company, or just a database marketing company, or just a website development company, or just a mobile marketing company, New Jersey advertising agencies of the future will have to broaden their horizons. They will have to become full on all-solutions marketing companies. A recent post on a great blog called Actionable Insights by Covario explains in full detail why a simple advertising agency may be a thing of the past. In the future, a marketing solutions company will be the answer to a business’s problems.

You can read the full blog entry here.

Use Your Ad Dollars Wisely in a Growing Economy: Reputation Management by Being a Contrarian

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This time I will talk about running a reputation management campaign by being a contrarian.

These days it’s great to go against what everyone else is doing, such as being optimistic when everyone else is pessimistic, or starting a business when everyone else is getting laid off.

You can use your story to your advantage by including it in your pitch to any traditional media or your online press releases. This way, you have more of a chance of being mentioned, especially if your business is unique or operating in an interesting niche.

Great stories are always in demand by media outlets that are looking for points of view that oppose the general media narrative of the day. At this point, the narrative in the U.S. is doom and gloom, but if you are the bright point of light, you can enjoy reputation management rewards now and for years to come.

Next time, I will talk about email database marketing and direct mail.

Use Your Ad Dollars Wisely in a Growing Economy: Leveraging for Better Ads

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This time I will talk about negotiating in a buyer’s market and leveraging your business to get the most out of your New Jersey advertising dollars.

Since we are in a buyer’s market right now, your business is in a great position to add as much value as possible. For television advertising this can mean that your business is mentioned more in intros and outros to commercial breaks. For radio advertising, this means a higher frequency of mentioning your business’s name, or co-op advertising of a local event. For print advertising, this means bigger ads and more ad placement.

Finally, you should try to leverage any online marketing package that is presented to you in order to get as many leads as possible.

Next time, I will talk about establishing a reputation management campaign by being a contrarian.

Email Database Marketing is Becoming Difficult

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For many online marketing New Jersey advertising companies, traffic conversion rates are alot less than what they used to be. But simultaneously there are also some online marketing services that have experienced no significant drop in online conversions. This is because they have built exceptional subscriber loyalty over some years.

For many online marketing New Jersey advertising companies, the biggest problem is email database marketing deliverability. Email database marketing is being filtered so heavily today that often less than 20% of a large mailing list gets delivered.

However, there are a few ways you can improve your email deliverability. One such way is to run it through a spam checker before sending it out. The best email database marketing programs have built in systems that give you spam scores before sending your email out. So, for example, let’s your email scores higher than a 1 on a 5 point scale, you should probably revise your email.

Also, a business totally dependent upon email database marketing is not a very solid business. Businesses need a database that has not only names and email addresses, but physical mailing addresses as well. That way, if something apocalyptic ever happened in the world of email or the internet, they could just start using direct mail and still be in business.

Many ISP’s now monitor email delivery rates, bounce rates, and even open rates. They use readily available data, and if a given ISP or third party list host has a dismal record, they may block all emails from that source.  If ISPs are blocking sources that send out alot of emails that have very poor open rates, some online agencies may have to move to a different outlet.

For example, a business could start marketing through various social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace, and even build a larger email database. Businesses could use these social networking sites in much the same way that email is used. They can send direct communication messages with product/service offers, discounts, value deals, etc. They can also distribute online press releases through their social networks by greating interest groups or fan pages. Social networking sites are also a free and easy way to perform reputation management. And, since social networking sites are free to use, businesses will save money.

Local Search Made Simple Continued

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In the last post, I wrote about optimizing your website to tell Google and your visitors where you are and what you do. But another important online place where it’s absolutely critical to clearly identify where you are and what you do is your local business profile on Google Maps, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local.

Your Categories

In Google Maps, you can categorize your business in up to 5 categories. They may be standard categories that are provided by Google Maps or those that you can create yourself. Use 1-2 of the standard Google Maps categories that best fit your business, and then create 3-4 that contain your best keyword terms plus the geography terms for which you want to be found.

For example, as a New Jersey online marketing company, we classify ourselves in the already established categories of Advertising, and Internet. For our other four categories we use the top keyword phrases for which we want to be found, such as SEO NJ, Internet marketing, or automotive search engine marketing.

The categories you choose may be based on any criteria that are important to you. Some suggestions are your most profitable procedures or the categories in which your strongest competitors have categorized themselves. The categories may also be based on some other criteria known only to you.

Use geographic terms in your categories in order to make it completely clear to Google where you do business. Using the names of nearby areas may also help your site rank better for those searches. For example, our office is in Westfield, NJ, but most searchers use “New Jersey” or “NJ” in their queries, so we use New Jersey terms in our categories instead of Westfield terms.

However, Yahoo Local and Bing Local do not allow you to create your own categories. So you must choose as many categories as you are allowed, picking the most appropriate and most important first.

Your Descriptions

Also use geography terms within the description area of your profiles, where you have complete control of what is written. These descriptions are crawled and indexed by the local spiders, so make certain they find your most important geographic terms within them.

Your Attributes

Attributes (only in Google Maps) allow you to go crazy with terms to tell spiders and humans what you do and where you do it. You can, in essence, create and name a field whatever you want and then populate it with terms describing that property.

Almost every business pulls people from both its immediate location and surrounding areas. So, you could create a field named Locations Served and list the towns and neighborhoods near you and from which your business typically draws customers.

Some business, like plumbing, carpet cleaning, lawn care, and pet sitting go to the customer instead of customers coming to them. For a business like this, you could title a field Service Areas and list the places where you are willing to travel to provide your services.

You can also include attributes that allow you to use keyword terms that contain geographic modifiers. For example, if you have an online agency in New Jersey, you could create a field titled Online Services and populate it with terms like “New Jersey internet marketing”, “online marketing in NJ”, “SEO NJ”, “SEM experts NJ”, “NJ website development”, and “New jersey reputation management”. This is an effective way to help you rank for long-tail terms that apply to where you are and what you do.

Your Coupons

Although not every business type has been traditionally associated with coupons, creative entrepreneurs are finding ways to use them to their benefit. Nearly every business can offer some sort of discount or value-added coupon for its goods or services. For inspiration you can look around to see what your competitors are doing with coupons. Then, when you create your coupons, include your best keyword terms plus your location in the offers.

It’s highly likely that attributes from Google Maps Local Business Listings and coupons from all of the platforms are pushed out to other places on the Web, such as Google Base and coupon Web sites, so the impact can be very far-ranging.

Local business listings are designed to help searchers find businesses in particular geographic locations. Make it easy for Google Maps, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local to tell where you are and what you do to increase the odds they will find your business when a relevant search is made.

Reputation Management Through Social Media Initiatives

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Companies are trying to leverage social media for marketing, customer outreach, and reputation management. They’re logging onto Twitter, creating Facebook pages, and building communities in the hopes of attracting customers.

Social media is probably the best tool for reputation management, and when leveraging your social media presence you must keep that in mind.

You must understand the difference between social media that you own and social media that you don’t own. You own the social media that you empower on your site, your Facebook page, your Twitter account, etc. However, you don’t own what other people are saying on their Twitter accounts, reviews on other sites, etc.

Much too often companies are just focused on understanding how people interact with the social media initiatives controlled by the company. People talk about the number of followers their company Twitter account has or the number of fans their company Facebook page has. While you want to understand the reach of those owned initiatives, the power is actually in what others are saying about your company.

The magic for companies is defining ways in which to harness the power of positive comments while finding the negative comments and addressing them so that they don’t spin out of control.  This can have a drastically negative impact on your business (short term or long term).  This is how social media can be a great tool for reputation management.  It can enable you to perform rumor control.  It can enable you to react directly to what actual customers are saying about your company.

A perfect example of this is news about the Dell laptop batteries overheating and exploding a few years ago. There was an incredible amount of talk about it online before Dell addressed it. It ended up becoming a huge issue leading to recalls.

If Dell had been listening across the Web at that point, it may have been able to identify the issue earlier and get ahead of the problem, working with manufacturing and recalling batteries earlier. It would’ve been seen as getting ahead of the problem rather than getting nailed for ignoring it.  The reputation management they could’ve done through social media could’ve saved them the trouble of having to back peddle.

Unfortunately, many companies still aren’t proactive in listening to what their clients are saying on the Web. To shift corporate thinking, you must put a strategic plan in place to address these kinds of things.

How do you define success around social media? What is your strategy to leverage the positive mentions and address the negative mentions?  A big part of your answer should be to perform reputation management.

Once you have that in place, you can look at the different tools available to understand what’s happening outside of the social media initiatives you control.

Public Relations/Reputation Management

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It is crucial for any business to run a public relations/reputation management campaign in order to keep a positive image in the public eye. However, the traditional modes of running such a campaign are slowly becoming obsolete. That is why it is necessary for businesses to update their public relations/reputation management campaigns for the 21st century. So how does a business update their public relations/reputation management campaigns? All it has to do is join the virtual world. The quickest and easiest way to run a public relations/reputation management campaign online is through blogging/SEO.

A business can respond to pretty much anything through blogging, especially negative rumors or negative public reaction to anything the business does. Since blogs are supposed to be updated incredibly frequently (usually every day or at the very least once a week) a business can respond to the public in real time, instead of having to go through all the time and trouble of having to set up a press conference. Also, since blogs allow comments, a business can see the public response to the public relations/reputation management campaigns themselves. Blogging is a great way for a business to set up a dialogue with the public. And if the public feels that the company is truly engaged in a two-way communication channel, rather than a one-way, then they will feel more involved with the business as a whole. That, in turn, will make them more loyal to the business.

And we’re not the only ones who think so.  Industry experts, such as these guys, also think that blogging is one of the best public relations/reputation management tools.