All about Corporate Reputation Management – Its Challenges and Solutions

October 18, 2011

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A corporate reputation lives in a fragile and highly competitive eco-system. It’s important that you nurture it and protect it from external and internal threats. A corporate reputation is made and broken by a how a limited group of people, also known as, the company’s target audience perceives the company.

Why Invest in Reputation Management?

Your is extremely precious. It’s difficult to quantify customer loyalty; but all companies, irrespective of their size, are learning to put a value on their corporate reputation. The value of their corporate reputation is directly proportional to their efforts at maintaining it. Also, the revenue and profits generated are in direct proportion to the positive perception of their corporate reputation. There are two facets to corporate reputation management – building a reputation and protecting it.  Investing in both these facets plays a significant role in improving business performance and crafting the public’s perception, vis-à-vis your company.

The Role of the Internet

The internet emerged as a definitive game changer with respect to how a corporate is able to manage its reputation. It has provided businesses, both big and small, with a way to keep working on their customer’s perceptions 24×7. Take for example the case of a corporate website. It’s an online presence, which indefatigably keeps building the company brand, keeps it afloat and also helps boost the corporate reputation of the company. This is just one example of how the internet is helping fashion a target customer’s views about a company, whether good or bad.

This is why, today, the concept of online reputation management is taking hold of the imagination of businesses. The thinking is that, if you are able to manage your online corporate reputation, some pressure can be taken off from the traditional means of reputation management.

Technological Evolution and Your Corporate Reputation

The rapid evolution of technologies such as the internet has led to a more evolved and sustained form of communication. Brand reputation, today, is determined by how users are making use of these communication technologies to shape their thoughts. One of the great advantages of modern communication channels like the internet is that massive amounts of information are made available to consumers instantly. Internet based news and information sites deliver information from multiple sources directly to the user. Add to that social networking sites contributing to this information flow, and you have an environment where maintaining a corporate reputation becomes a real challenge.

A company’s corporate reputation is governed by whether they are able to use the internet to mitigate any potential risk to their reputation.

Risks and Challenges to the corporate reputation

A corporate is no longer catering to an audience of their choosing. Yes, they can target a particular audience, but their online presence is now reaching a sophisticated and powerful global audience who are watching every move they make and scrutinizing these moves on various parameters.  The risks to the corporate reputation can come from various 嘉盛 quarters and from all corners of the globe. Today, a critical article published in Hong Kong is available to readers in the United States in a matter of seconds. Such a critical commentary can have global consequences for your business prospects irrespective of where it’s published from. The fact that it is on the internet means it can reach anybody, anywhere.

Yet another risk is to the concept of business secrecy. The popularity of the social networking sites and the fact that information can be published anonymously, means hiding company secrets becomes a full time, difficult and thankless job. A bad word here and there and your corporate reputation can be in tatters.

So, is there a solution?

Well, there is a sea change in the attitude of the corporations regarding their information policies and the way they conduct business. Gaining the public trust through slow and steady progression has become crucial. More importantly, organizations are becoming more open and honest with the public about their deals and agenda. If there is an incident that they think is going to negatively impact their corporate reputation, they are being upfront in dealing with them in a manner that can mend their corporate reputation.

But is this enough? No it isn’t. New threats and challenges need to be met with new tools and solutions. This helps companies become more nimble footed as far as meeting the challenges to their reputation is concerned.

Let’s take a look at some of these new age solutions.

  • Tap into the opportunities provided by . The fact that your supporters and detractors have a presence on these social media sites means you must have a presence too. Use the same tools that your customers are using to promote and defend your corporate reputation. A Facebook, Twitter account is an absolute must.
  • Create a specifically designated team that works within a safe and secure online environment and is in charge of sharing and exchanging information online.
  • The use of (Software as a Service) technology helps deliver information from sources such as the internet, TV, Radio, social media, etc to a single dashboard. This can help your in-house corporate branding team review and analyze all that is spoken and written about your company.
  • Implementing web applications that can help report, analyze, and measure all the coverage in Web 2.0 media channels.
  • Deploying specific corporate reputation management tools that fit seamless into the IT infrastructure, especially, the kind of tools that can be deployed quickly and easily.

Companies have begun investing in custom web applications that facilitate the monitoring, interpretation, analysis and reporting, of both traditional, as well as, online media conversations. Corporations are keeping pace with the changing times to ensure that there is no dark spot in their corporate reputation.

It is never enough

What can save your organization’s reputation and maintain it in the long run is a sustained and strategic investment made in trying to listen to, analyze and track the company’s coverage taking place across all media channels, especially the online channel. It’s a never ending process and needs to be handled with all the experience and expertise at your disposal. Effective corporate reputation management demands the continuous reinvention of your brand management methodologies.

Only then will you be able to keep your corporate reputation intact.

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About Pratik Dholakiya

Pratik Dholakiya is the founder of The 20 Media, an SEO and content marketing agency, and advisor at MoveoApps, a mobile apps development company. Pratik has contributed on sites like Moz, Fast Company, Social Media Examiner, KISSmetrics, and Content Marketing Institute to name a few. He's a "must-follow" SEO expert according to Search Engine Watch and has been named one of the top content marketing influencers by Onalytica. He's passionate about fitness, entrepreneurship, start-ups, and all things digital marketing. Hit him up on Twitter @DholakiyaPratik for a quick chat on any of these topics.

  • Anil Valvi

    Thank you for another essential article regarding online reputation. I need to say I really like encountering this lot. It will help me to become better knowledge of on the subject. I really like of the bullet points of their solutions. Keep up the good work!!!