An organization’s reputation is an asset; an organization’s digital footprint and ‘online discoverability’ are a function of this reputation. Managing this asset means paying attention to how an organization shows up online.
Your organization’s reputation reflects the sum of perceptions people have of your brand — and those associated with it. Reputation can be impacted by anything that makes it out your front door — most notably that which occurs online and on social media. Tweets and TikToks, among other social media, blogs, public comments, quotable TV, and radio appearances matter — whether voiced by your organization or the point of view of public commentary. A slip up here can cost a brand big.
For organizations that have been stung by the consequences of going viral for the wrong reasons, social media can seem like dark waters to charter. No surprise that people voted yes, when Elon Musk polled his followers, asking if they wanted an edit button on the platform. Fixing typos and sloppy copy and pasting is one thing, but there is no magical eraser for a pattern of problematic behaviour online.
History matters: in a crisis, your history becomes the key to unlocking your intent, or that of your organization or brand. When crisis hits, people will look for cues on how to read your organization’s response to it, and cues on any responsibility it might have. The micro-moments that make up your brand’s history and reputation get examined not only by the audience you’ve built, but by a broader, fault-finding one. The reputations, too, of individuals visibly associated or involved in a crisis will also be scrutinized.
The value of a sterling reputation is clear. A clean slate offers fewer places for mud to stick, but a history of solid reputation-building can provide the brand-capital to leverage against unpopular decisions, or the social proof of good faith required to weather an uproar.
Think of every decision and every action as a credit or a debit on a fund of reputational capital, on a balance-forward that can be drawn down when times are tough. If you care about your reputation, then how you show up online matters. And that showing up, if it’s to be of use in bad times, needs attention and investment, during good times, if only because it’s easy to build in this sandbox, but very difficult to make something go away.
Your organization already has a reputation. Now is the time take control of it, to administer it and grow and shape it. We can help.
We start by helping you understand where your reputation stands, what your reputational landscape looks like, and who you are reaching or missing:
We can help you understand your reputation
- Brand sentiment analysis, either through panel research or social media: how do people feel about your brand/organization?
- Keyword analysis: what do people say when they mention you and what you do?
- Opportunity analysis: what are competitors or those comparable doing to build their reputational capital?
We can help you understand your digital ecosystem
- Auditing digital communications tools: how are your website and social channels helping or hindering your discoverability?
- Auditing your traffic sources: where, outside your owned channels, are people finding you?
We can help you understand your audiences
- Who listens to your owned channels? Who can you reach without extra effort?
- Who are you missing? What audiences that matter are you not reaching?
- Are you missing key messages that the audience you’re trying to reach needs to hear? Do you have key messages/collateral to share that your relevant audiences aren’t finding?
- Who do you share audiences with?
- Who are your competitors talking to that you aren’t?
We then look to helping you plan your building blocks for reputational success
- We can help plan, schedule, and produce content — tailored to whatever platform you need to be on — to ensure you’re reaching your key audiences where they are and building reputational capital.
- We can help ensure that your efforts are discoverable in the digital space, by helping with your SEO, your digital brand-U/X, and with the health of your ecosystem.
- We can help test messages to ensure you’re being heard, and that your audience knows what you mean when you say what you need. We can help experiment with content, channels, and messages to ensure this resonance.
- We can measure the impact of your reputation building program, and optimize for better reach, better recall, better engagement.
Reputation management means just that — consistent, considered maintenance over time. Consider your past and take steps now to ensure that you’re protected in the future.