As Warren Buffet famously contended “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” In the internet age, we face challenges like fake news, a struggling publishing industry, and constantly changing mediums of communication. Reputation is your one constant; the thing you can rely on to meet these challenges.
A Public audience can be both your best advocates and biggest detractors, depending on how you communicate with them. With the media on your side, you can tend to your reputation like a garden. After all, everything is strengthened with an extra pair of hands. Like gardening, media relations is a long game, but if you begin planting seeds, you will reap the benefits for years to come.
Offline reputation management shapes public perception of a said entity outside the digital sphere, using select clearly defined controls and measures towards a desired result, ideally representing what stakeholders think and feel about that entity. The most popular controls for offline reputation management include social responsibility, media visibility, press releases in print media, and sponsorship, amongst other related tools.
However, in the last few decades, a vast amount of communication happens online. It’s inevitable, therefore, that reputation management happens mostly in the online space. In fact, the terms “reputation management” and “online reputation management” are now virtually synonymous.
So, reputation management happens online because that’s where most of our communication happens. But there’s another reason as well. In the online world, one doesn’t focus on changing minds individually, instead, arbiters of reputation like social media, online publications, and YouTube are often targeted.
You cannot control what a person thinks, but you can control what they see, which in turn shapes the way they think.
We’re not overstating the case when we say that reputation management is essential for a company’s survival. Enron vanished in the wake of corruption and the ensuing public relations backlash. Other giants like BP, Wells Fargo, and United Airlines have been able to withstand reputation blow-ups, but not without serious costs.
These are all examples of how the emergence of online communication platforms has made reputation more delicate. Whereas before, people who had a bad experience with an organization may have only told a few close friends, now they can publish their views online, where they can reach thousands, even millions of people.
Here is where IEG team steps in by helping its clients to take control over what others are seeing about them. Change the perception from the root.