The internet allows anybody anywhere to comment on anything – which includes you and your business. This series talks you through reputation management: what it is, how to do it, and why it’s important.

But first things first. What is reputation management, and why is it important?

Reputation Management

In its simplest terms, reputation management is the process of keeping tabs on your online reputation. It’s all about keeping tabs on what people are saying about your business.

Public Relations is a large, multifaceted beast; and reputation management is one element of maintaining a good PR strategy. It might sound paranoid, but reputation management is all about knowing who is saying what about you, so you can act (or react) accordingly.

Why reputation management is important

The internet may appear to be a big, formless mass. Bloggers comment on businesses all the time, and people post links and comments everywhere from forums to social networks. If you have a disgruntled customer, it is likely that he or she will tell a lot of people: through their social networks, on their blogs, on other people’s blogs.

Similarly, happy customers – with the advent of social networks, particularly – are now more likely to share their positive stories.

Managing your online reputation is all about managing how your business and your brand appears to others. It’s a good idea to know who is saying what about your business – especially when negative comments can impact intensely on how businesses are perceived. It is a basic premise of managing your public relations.

Reputation management strategies help you keep tabs on anything that is negative or defamatory. But on the flip-side, it can also reinforce your marketing if you find that your reputation is consistently positive. If you are not aware of positive commentary, then you are not in a position to exploit this in your broader marketing strategies.

Next in the series

In part two of this series, we look at Google Alerts, and just how simple setting up a basic reputation management strategy can be.