Reputation Management Should Be the #1 Priority for Public Relations Professionals

In order to get the job you currently have, chances are you applied, went through an interview process, received an offer, and then chose to accept it. But why did you get the job? Was it your background, experience, and impressive resume? Probably. But it also had a lot to do with the interview itself. In an interview you had to look nice, present yourself well, and talk about yourself in a way that made you seem like you knew what you were talking about.

In fact, talking about yourself in an expressive way is key to having a great interview. Someone once gave me this piece of advice for interviewing: “If you don’t talk about yourself, who will?” And the same holds true for reputation management. If you’re an in-house PR professional for a good company, it’s your job to talk about your company; because if you don’t, who will? As such, reputation management should be one of your highest priorities—if not your number one priority. So here are four reasons reputation management should be at the top of your list.

1. Press releases are meaningless

This is not to say that press releases don’t have their place, but there is so much noise in the news media today that another press release is just more white noise. More likely than not, if you send out a nationwide press release, you’ll be lucky if one reporter reads it and decides to write a story about it.

In other words, press releases do no good unless people read them. That’s why, instead of hoping that a reporter will pick up your story, put your press releases to work by optimizing them for reputation management purposes. When you can get your press releases to rank for searches for your company name, not only will more people see and read them, but you’ll be improving your online reputation at the same time.

2. Ads do nothing if you have a bad reputation

Advertising is only useful to your company if you can prove to potential customers that you have a good reputation. If your advertisements are driving searches for your company name, but those customers are seeing “scam reports” and negative reviews in the results. They are much less likely to click through to your website. And all your ad money goes down the toilet. If you can focus on reputation management, you’ll clean the company image, increase traffic, and improve sales conversion all at the same time.

3. No one’s going to toot your horn

Remember, if you don’t show the public what a great company you are, no one else is going to do it for you. When you do community service, give money to non-profits, start a college scholarship, and more, make sure you talk to bloggers and local news outlets, so they’ll write about your company. Once those positive news stories hit the web, promote them and push them as hard as you can, so that they’ll appear in the search results for your company name. When people search for your company online, and they see the positive work your company is doing, they’ll be more than happy to visit your site and buy from you. And that’s what reputation management is all about.

4. Blogs aren’t useful unless people read them

Why is your company blog hidden away in a back corner of your website? Again, no one will know what’s going on at your company unless you show them. For example, you could move your blog to a subdomain, so it will rank separately from your main website. Or push your company news to other websites, so they will publish the wonderful things your company is doing. After you’ve done that, reputation management is about getting those blogs and stories to rank well, so you can build a positive image for your company.

You Can Make or Break Your Online Reputation

 As a PR professional, it’s your job to obtain exposure and coverage for your company. But if no one can see what you are doing (or they’re only seeing negative results when they search your company name), any work you are doing will have virtually no effect. That’s why you need a reputation management strategy that will help improve your image and not undo the work you’ve put into building your brand. Talk about yourself and toot your own horn, or you’ll be leaving the talking to anyone with an internet connection.