We at ReputationDefender have previously stressed the importance of Online Reputation Management within specific industries; however, the truth is that every business and every organization—irrespective of whether it is public or private—ought to pay special attention to this issue, especially under today’s fast-paced and rapidly changing juncture.
Of course, every industry handles its reputation differently, as techniques are often tailored to the industry’s nature, but, when considering today’s landscape as a whole, and given the fact that even governments fail to respond to the financial crisis and its aftermath, a company’s or a business’s online reputation has become increasingly important.
Companies with online reputation problems are more likely to suffer the fallout of public outrage, legislators, and regulatory entities. Moreover, the credibility of the public sector as a whole will mark its capability to participate in contentious measures such as protectionism, which, of course, has several implications for today’s worldwide economic landscape.
These premises have not gone unnoticed, and senior executives are more aware than ever of how important and serious this issue—this challenge—is. The vast majority of them acknowledge that some industries and sectors have perhaps dragged others into the realm of pejorative perceptions. It is not a secret that some companies in certain sectors—especially the financial industry—have treated consumers, shareholders, regulators, etc., in the most possible unfairly manner, and thus, this perception seems to have spanned over other industries as well.
This assumption, although eschatological and a bit exaggerated, is backed up with facts: in accordance with a survey of senior executives and C positions carried out in 2016, almost 80% of them asserted that public trust in their businesses has deteriorated. In fact, they also assert that the audience and their customers seem to trust corporations less now than they did in the past. These circumstances, nevertheless, are the consequences of not just the speed, volatility, and unexpectedness of today’s economy, but also of several changes within the reputation environment that were not acknowledged in time by companies and industries in general. Those changes include, of course, the evident decline of trust in media and advertising.
So, how to reconstruct a damaged online reputation and, moreover, regain the public’s trust? Now, more than ever before, it will be action-driven strategies the ones responsible for building a solid and strong reputation.
Organizations and companies, in general, need to improve the way they have been carrying out their engagement with their clients; most businesses actually fail to listen good enough what is happening around them and end up missing the red flags associated with substantial ORM issues; however, all of these can be remedied by adopting and taking actions to reinstate their relationship with their customers, thusly going beyond traditional PR and basic ORM strategies.
By doing this effectively, companies and businesses, in general, will be able to step up their sophistication and their coordination when it comes to developing a solid and reliable online reputation management campaign. As of recent years, some businesses have started to use not only more strict levels of segmentation techniques to understand their customers better but also cross-functional teams to gather and collect enough and precise information so that they can respond much quicker to plausible online reputation threats. This suggests that the existence of barriers within companies is indeed detrimental for the business’s reputation: a bureaucratic culture prevents the organization to react and act against ORM issues; however, one vital aspect to getting past these corporate barriers is a committed senior leadership. From CEOs to the lady at the reception, all employees should strive to achieve the same ORM goal without delegating such responsibility to other people and coworkers. Bear in mind that this, although simple to understand, is what will allow companies cope with today’s no less than energized public. Today is the day when CEOs will finally bolster their reputations of their businesses: it is no less than their sole obligation.
Free markets have dispersed the economic spectrum, which is why companies ought to pay special attention to the way they collect information about possible ORM threats and the way they analyze it. It is not a secret that the key to not falling victim of an ORM debacle is by acting soon before it happens and by taking the necessary actions to mitigate it. Some would still wonder, is it possible for companies to do that just by themselves? Well, developing alliances with new partners is not something nonsensical: governments, consumers, and other groups are highly important when it comes to listening to what is happening, which, of course, is the only way to develop preventive measures. It, however, demands higher levels of coordination. Levels that can be achieved by getting past corporate barriers and the dreary bureaucratic culture that prevents companies, organizations, institutions, and businesses from doing so.
* Featured Image courtesy of Unsplash at Pexels.com