The Evolution of Reputation Management
Reputation management is a public relations concept previously used for public relations concerning corporations in the media. Large corporations and businesses had a stake in maintaining a good reputation to protect their profits. However with the growth, popularity, the use of the internet and social media sites. Reputation management has evolved to encompass the digital world. With most of the information about any topic disseminated on the internet, it’s important to have a positive online presence. It is in everyone’s best interest to come out on the top internet search results and many individuals, corporations, and small businesses try to control their image with online reputation management.
When most people try to find out information about an individual or organization they head to the internet. Currently, the most popular search engine is Google and popping up as a top search result is the goal of many individuals and businesses. When the web page opens and the information is on display to individuals and businesses want viewers to get the best impression. The first impression is the best impression and leaves the viewer with a favorable impression is important. In order to keep a good reputation online, many individuals employ firms that work to manage their reputations.
Typically a reputation management firm monitors individuals, businesses, and brands to spot potentially damaging information that can hurt their client’s reputation. It is in the best interest of these people to have a positive reputation and reputation management tries to shape the public perception and provides damage control to mitigate any harmful content. Though this may seem like an ideal process to maintain a good reputation sometimes firms can employ unethical means to accomplish their goals. Improving an individual’s or business website design and search engine optimization is a good tactic to improve visibility in search engines searches. But creating fake blogs to hide negative content, fake reviews that have been paid for, and using spam bots to shut down sites with negative content crosses into unethical behavior.
Some reputation management firms have no limits on doing whatever it take to remove negative content and protect their firm’s client. This seems like it should be ideal for the client but once a reputation management firm is known for unethical behavior its own reputation suffers and the business of the firm as well. It is in the best interest of reputation management firms to create transparent business practices and stick to ethical business practices.