The Small Business’ Guide to Online Reputation Management – PR Fire

What do Samsung, Cadbury and Adidas have in common?

These days, none of these huge brands can seem to do any wrong. But all three have had PR crises that could’ve destroyed their reputations.

Take Samsung, for example. Several Galaxy Note 7 phones caught fire due to a battery defect back in 2016. Negative headlines were splashed all across the internet. Airlines across the US, Europe, Asia and Australia banned[1] them for safety reasons. And Samsung had to recall the model.

Yet, barely three years later, 79% of British consumers[2] have a positive opinion of the brand. And the Galaxy Note 9—an updated version of the Note 7—is a mainstay of “top 10 best” smartphone lists.

Similarly, Cadbury is the best-selling chocolate brand in India, with 70% market share[3]. And, in North America, Adidas is crushing its competition, growing by 20% or more[4] in nine consecutive quarters.

But in 2003, customers in Mumbai and Nagpur got more than they bargained for when they found worms in their Dairy Milk bars[5]. And, in 2017, Adidas trended on Twitter for all the wrong reasons—they sent an email congratulating participants for surviving the Boston Marathon[6].

So how did all three companies avert disaster and keep growing from strength to strength?

The secret: Reputation managemen[7]t.

What is online reputation management?

Online reputation management[8] is the process of trying to shape what customers think about your brand. You do this by:

  • Spreading information that places your company in the best possible light
  • Addressing negative feedback in a constructive way

It covers everything from the kind of search results that appear when someone looks you up online, including press mentions, ratings on customer review sites, conversations on social media, and more.

Managing your online reputation is crucial because:

  1. It helps get your brand’s name out there, attracting the right kind of customers.
  2. It helps make sure your customers (both prospective and current) continue having a good opinion of your brand.
  3. If—like Samsung, Cadbury or Adidas—your business suffers a PR disaster, good brand reputation management will help you bounce back.

Why do you need to manage your reputation?

The way you’re perceived online can make or break your business.

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