There is a reason that medieval kings and lords spent years building their castles. Because they knew that if they waited to start building until an army attacked them, there was no way they could defend themselves. In today’s world, your company many not be under threat of physical attack, but your company’s reputation is at risk for attack online as long as you have no reputation management strategy in place to protect it.
Too often companies wait until their reputation is under attack until they start thinking about investing in a reputation management strategy. But by that time, the damage has already been done, and it is much harder to fix the problem than it would have been to prevent it in the first place by building your castle defenses well in advance.
If your company has a reputation to defend, then it’s time to start investing in a reputation management strategy, and here’s why:
1. The future is uncertain
Your company may have a great reputation right now, but you never know what might happen in the future. Often times, all it takes is one vocal, web savvy individual to start posting negative comments and articles online about your company. When your customers search for your company name online and the 2nd result they see—under your company’s official website—is a “scam review of [your company],” the damage is already done, and you are already losing money. Prepare for the future by investing in reputation management now.
2. It will be easier now rather than later
Before a crisis, it is much easier to build your defenses. Before a crisis hits, it’s much faster and economical to build a broad positive online reputation. But if you have no defenses when the crisis hits, you’ll spend all your time and money fighting each negative review and blog post individually instead of having a broad layer of defenses already in place.
3. Get ahead instead of playing catch up
If you have no defenses, your enemy controls the field of battle in an attack. They get to pick where to strike first, how to attack, and when to do it. Then when the attack comes you’re left playing catch up and putting out fires instead of focusing on your larger defense strategy. But if you build a strong, positive online reputation ahead of time, you’ll be ready for an attack and the slings and stones of your enemy will not do as much damage. You’ll control the battle.
4. Invest now, and you may never have to face a crisis
The best part about investing in reputation management now is that, with a strong strategy in place, you may never have to face a crisis. Instead of dealing with an attack on your reputation after it happens, if you are well prepared, those attacks may never have an impact on your business. And if you can prevent attacks from becoming crises before they happen, you’ll save time, energy, and money, without losing any of your customers or seeing a dent in your profits.
Overall, preemptive reputation management is about building your castle of defenses now, before there is a problem. Because if you can get your reputation management strategy in place now and start building your defenses, your chances of dealing with a crisis later can be lessened or even averted completely. So how strong is your castle?