What is online reputation management and why does it matter?

19/01/2024 14:31:11

What is online reputation management?

Warren Buffett is often quoted as saying that a reputation takes 20 years to build and five minutes to ruin. 

Nowadays, the digital landscape has evolved beyond recognition. A successful online reputation management strategy is essential, forming a core element of any PR strategy.  

As PR experts, we are often asked about reputation management when it comes to enhancing and growing a business, so in this blog, we will explore what reputation management is and provide insight into why taking control of your online presence could help to grow your business. 

63% of a company’s market value is directly related to its reputation, and 87% of executives consider reputational challenges more important than other strategic risks  

The State of Corporate Reputation in 2020: Everything Matters Now 


Why does reputation management matter?

While reputation management may sound like a new phenomenon stemming from internet reliance, it has always been understood by high-profile or public figures that reputation makes or breaks a career. 

Your reputation, online presence, and what people say about you and your business is paramount to success. A well-maintained online reputation is perhaps one of the biggest influences in attracting customers and building trust. 

It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is or which sector you operate in, that philosophy remains the same: people buy from people and companies they trust.

Within the online sphere, everything from social media comments, news stories, and customer feedback shapes public perception. 

Unfortunately, a negative online comment and a poorly managed reputation can fuel a PR disaster that impacts your bottom line. Nurturing and maintaining relationships and reputation is an ongoing exercise, which is why we advise ensuring it forms part of your PR strategy

Controlling your narrative

The first step in online reputation management is to monitor your business's online presence and understand its digital footprint. 

Check social media interaction, forums, review sites, and other online channels to stay informed, this will help you to identify issues that require action, or areas for improvement. 

Positive reviews and content can enhance trust, while negative information can deter opportunities. Online reputation management works to counter and weaken negative online material and promote the positive. 

Besides monitoring a business’s digital footprint, a PR professional will be able to take control of the narrative, working to counter and weaken negative material and promote the positive. 

Remember, most times negative stories cannot be removed completely, but an effective PR strategy can respond and make negative stories hard to find to reflect a company in the best possible light, often replacing them with more positive content. 

Research shows that 75% of people only look at the first page of search engine results to form an opinion. A successful PR strategy can help to ensure positive news stories and thought leadership pieces remain on page 1 to help harbour and maintain trust.

If the first few links are negative industry press or reviews from an angry customer, potential clients are more likely to look elsewhere. Interestingly, this can also be the case if a business has little to no online presence.
Online reputation management

Building your online presence 

Building an online presence can take time, but with the right attitude and the help of a PR expert, it can help drive profitability. 

With more than 35 years of experience, our PR masterminds can help you build and nurture a positive online presence that reflects your core values and gets stories heard by the people that matter the most to you.  

First, we delve deep to understand your business and objectives. From there, we assess your current digital footprint to come up with a bespoke solution to suit your business needs. 

Next, we curate a content strategy that focuses on producing valuable and shareable content, including press releases, thought leadership pieces, blog posts, and social media posts to establish your expertise. Ultimately, this helps to fill search results with positive messages and helps to push negative content down in search engine rankings.

Managing negativity online

Unfortunately, negative reviews are sometimes inevitable, but how you respond to them impacts your reputation. We advise that you address any criticism professionally, acknowledge concern, and demonstrate commitment to resolving those issues.

Respond promptly, to show you care about customer satisfaction, and where possible try to take the conversation offline.

In the event of a crisis, or substantial incident, we advise working with your chosen PR professional to build a well-thought-out crisis management plan to help safeguard your reputation.

A crisis management plan is a strategic document that outlines the procedures, responsibilities, and actions to be taken by an organisation in response to a potential crisis.  

Typically, a crisis management plan will detail all potential risks, from natural disasters, cybersecurity threats, and product recalls, and highlight effective protocols to help manage the situation. 

It will also establish both internal and external communication protocols, including media relations to effectively manage the narrative and stop the potential spread of misinformation. 
If you are looking to take charge of your reputation, we are happy to help. At Partners PR, we pride ourselves on being a talented bunch of wordsmiths, creative thinkers, and PR strategists. 

We work with B2B organisations across the UK in the manufacturing and engineering, food processing, building products, property and construction, and professional services sectors, helping them tell their story to the right people, at the right time to build, maintain and enhance their reputation. 

Contact us today