Five ways to protect your online reputation

LGR WSJMy colleague – Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist for Weber Shandwick – constantly impresses with her thoughtful and practical public relations counsel.

Her work, “Five Essentials of Defending Your Digital Reputation,” was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal, following her Harvard Business Review article on “Reputation Warfare.” I encourage you to read both.

Below are the five essential steps that organizations must practice to defend their digital reputations:

  1. Beware, the Clock Ticks: A 24-hour news cycle requires 24/7 monitoring and responses to potential issues.
  2. Monitor Carefully: Nowadays, the most inconspicuous event must be taken seriously and evaluated for negative consequences.
  3. Plug the Leaks: Violations of corporate confidentiality need not even be intentional. In a Weber Shandwick survey, 87 percent of global executives admitted to having erroneously sent or received at least one private email, text or tweet.
  4. Don’t Always Turn the Other Cheek: Increasingly, leading companies and organizations are displaying corporate moxie by using many of the same social media tactics as their opponents. Depending on a brand’s personality, and only if done truthfully and ethically, fighting fire with fire with social media can be a very promising way to counter negativity.
  5. Don’t Neglect to Socialize Your CEO: For most companies and organizations, the majority of their constituencies are now online, and CEOs should be where stakeholders are likely to be listening, watching and searching. To put it simply, CEOs should be camera- and media-ready for a crisis that might be around the corner.

As Leslie adeptly writes, “How well a company manages such events not only prevents against unwarranted damage to its reputation, but also adds value in its own right. A company that handles itself online says much about its ability to execute in this modern age and helps define how a company is perceived.”

Is your company prepared to defend its online reputation?

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