The three major types of online defamatory content are: negative reviews, hate sites, and negative media coverage. Negative reviews are mainly done on review sites that allow their users to express opinions on any brand. Questions that a reviewer can answer are: Do they like the service/product? Would they recommend it? Harmful sharing of information may damage a company’s sales, and dealing with the bad input on a site may not be enough. Websites like Ripoff Report and Pissed Customer supply just the right platform for this type of negative content. Hate sites are when people go beyond simple negative reviews and create ad hoc websites with their opinions, some of them containing illegal content. These so-called “hate” sites sometimes address companies and public figures with insults and information that is not true. Needless to say, a search result “The truth about a company” or “Name scam/ripoff” will make a company’s potential customers never do business with them. Negative media coverage-Phineas T. Barnum used to say “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” That could be true for controversial public figures like Paris Hilton, but a lot of the time, unfavorable television, print, and online media coverage has a negative impact on brands and companies. There are three main ways to handle this type of unfavorable commentary.
The three main ways that a company can deal with this type of behavior to restore their online reputation are: aggressive search engine optimization, review removal, and online investigations. Aggressive SEO has to do with if someone searches a company or a person’s name online, approaching on page one and two of the results will be a lot more important than a business card or website. They will show at a glance many high ranking web sources that are discussing a business or person. If they share information that is not true, the first that the business or person or their online reputation management company needs to do is devise a search marketing strategy that increases the ranking of positive content, owned by the company or person or third parties. The search engine game is too important to not pay attention to, and it is the first step to restoring a businesses or persons image. Review removal can be used if a person said that something is not true about a business or a person. If the goal of a review is to destroy a reputation instead of providing feedback or it has improper language in it, a legal liaison and speed of reaction will make it possible to remove the negative review. Online investigations can be used for serious attacks to a brand image. When a serious attack takes place, it may be necessary to hire skilled online analysts to investigate untraceable and attackers by utilizing email tracing, data cross-indexing, and other methods of gathering information. Cyber investigations are the definitive path to get to the bottom of definitive reputation management cases. Lastly, there are ten online reputation management commandments.
There are ten practical tips, also known as commandments, that will definitely protect a brand or a person. The first one is to become well respected and very trusted. A business or person should also be very transparent which means that they do not hide anything. They should also monitor what is being said about them. When a customer complains, a company should answer them in a polite and prompt fashion. When a company is criticized, they need to reply to it. When searching for their business, a company needs to treat page one of the search results as their virtual business card. A company also needs to know who is criticizing them so they can reply in a proper manner. When a person or organization has the goal of destroying a business, they need to fire the people that are in charge of the destruction if they work for them or sue the people that are slandering them. If they do not fight the illegal behavior, people will continue to do that type of behavior. A company should also learn from their mistakes which is basically self-explanatory. Lastly, they should ask for help if they need it. If a business or person cannot protect or restore their image on their own, they can obtain the services of an reputation management company.
With public relation firms and reputation management companies, a person who has had their reputation attacked or may have this happen in the future, can receive professional help from those that have helped many businesses or people in the past build or maintain a good reputation in the eyes of the public. They can help handle the facets of reputation management that they cannot face on their own. With their help, managing a reputation in modern times is not something that cannot be done, but is a battle that can actually be won.