Online Reputation Management: Beyond Traditional PR

As I have discussed in previous blog posts, reputation management is crucial for the overall success of your marketing campaigns. If you think you can have an online presence and not also have a strategy for reputation management, you are mistaken. The two go hand-in-hand.

Reputation Management Today

There is a common misconception of what exactly reputation management means in today’s marketing world. Some believe it is monitoring your online social media, others believe it is basic PR and yet many have no idea how it can truly affect your business and overall brand.

The majority of all business reputation management today happens online. Most companies have some sort of online marketing presence and are increasing it daily. Because of this, we as marketers have had to look at alternative ways to protect our name and brand. Today, reputation management is more than traditional PR.

It is all about using tools to monitor your online presence, social networks and online advertisements. It no longer requires old-school methods of launching press releases to explain or defend yourself.

Online Reputation Management: The Internet Never Forgets

Years ago it was common for bad press and negative reviews to get swept under the rug after a limited amount of time. This was due to the fact that most of the news was print and not published online. It is a lot easier to forget about an old newspaper clipping than it is to forget about the viral effect the internet has on a piece of news or content. The internet never forgets.

Marketers and PR companies alike need to be careful about how they market and protect their brand and image. Whether it is a response to an online post or an advertisement to launch a new product or service, company’s today need to realize that every move made online is tracked and can live forever. So next time you are sending a Tweet or posting a picture, remember your online presence has consequences for you and your company.

Traditional PR

Today, PR is less about channeling your message through the right outlets, and more about making connections with people, specifically your target audience. I still believe in some instances there is room for traditional PR but the need is fading depending on your overall business strategy and online presence.

The role of PR is no longer passive; it is about connecting people directly with your brand instead of through a traditional media channel. On occasion, a traditional press release is needed.

However, the difference lies in how you market and place your press release. Instead of publishing your press release in a newspaper, you are publishing it through social media channels online. You get more exposure this way and can better reach your targeted audience.

3 Tips to Go Beyond Traditional PR

1. Create and Develop a Strong Social Media Presence – traditional PR focused attention on newspapers, magazines, radio, etc. Today’s PR is focused on building up social connections. This can be done by creating business accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Creating these types of accounts require a great deal of responsibility and management.

2. Incorporate Testimonials into Your Marketing Strategy – Testimonials are a great way to get some positive PR and also manage your online brand. Testimonials should be from real clients and show the value of your employees and company as a whole. Testimonials can be placed on your websites, landing pages and in online advertisements.

3. Write Quality Content and Market with Multiple Channels – writing quality content is self-explanatory; write quality content and lots of it. Once you have your content, you can promote it throughout different media channels. An example of this is taking your content and creating Infographics, Videos, Whitepapers, PowerPoint Presentations, etc. These other media types can take your already written, already quality content and make it better.

Measure the Success of Your Reputation Management Strategy

Reputations last forever, giving your strategy for reputation management a great deal of importance. Not only do you have the responsibility of building an online strategy for managing your brand, you also need to measure the success of your overall reputation management strategy. A few basic metrics to measure include:

  • Unique visitors to relevant content
  • Page views of relevant content (press releases & FAQs)
  • New email or newsletter signups
  • RSS feeds
  • Quality and quantity of mentions in blogs, forums and newsgroups
  • Quality and quantity of referring URL’s
  • Text ad performance
  • Visibility of relevant content for targeted keywords and phrases in search engines

Final Thoughts

Reputation management and PR go together well (just like reputation management and SEO) because they both include ways of marketing your business in a positive light. By monitoring and controlling your online presence (reputation management), you are in turn creating positive PR and vice versa. In the end, managing your reputation requires a great deal of work. Yet if you combine efforts to manage your online reputation and reach beyond traditional PR methods, it will guarantee your voice to be heard in a favorable way.