It’s after we leave the house, go out into the world, marry, and have kids of our own that we finally realize what our mothers were saying to us all those years ago, and we grow a greater appreciation of the things they taught us and the sacrifices they made for us.
And, of course, we swear we aren’t going to let our kids turn out like we did. We’re going to break millions of years of tradition and actually be the first people on the planet to have kids who listen to us and don’t make the same mistakes we did growing up.
Reputation management can be the same way. Most companies know about reputation management, they’ve learned its principles and understand the benefits it might have. But it’s not until a crisis comes knocking that they realize they should have created a reputation management strategy when they were told to. And now it’s too late. Hindsight is always 20/20.
But you can fix it. Remember reputation management is like your mother in 4 ways:
1) Reputation management wants to protect you
Just your mother, reputation management wants to keep you safe and out of harm’s way as your company grows. Creating a preemptive reputation management strategy from the start will help you begin to defend against online attacks before they begin. And if your company starts now, you’ll be that much more ahead when a crisis actually strikes.
2) Reputation management gives you good advice
Your mother was always trying to give you advice in order to keep you safe and protected, so you would learn the correct way to act and speak. Reputation management is not much different. A good reputation management strategy dictates that you put policies and actions into place now, before a crisis starts, so that you can build good habits and protect yourself from future embarrassment and lost profits.
3) Reputation management speaks from experience
Many reputation management professionals have seen disasters happen time and time again to companies who were inadequately prepared for an online PR nightmare. And because they’ve seen it happen many times they know how to handle it and what to do. But, most importantly, they recognize the need for a preemptive reputation management strategy, so you may never need to face a large problem.
4) Reputation management knows you better than yourself
Your mother knew all about you, and because she was watching you grow and learn, she could tell what you were feeling before you told her. She knew when something was wrong and she tried to help you correct problems before they got out of hand. Preemptive reputation management is similar in that a reputation management company operates outside your company, so they have a different perspective. And sometimes an outside perspective is what you need in order to fully protect yourself from online threats and PR problems. Reputation management firms can take an objective look at your company and give you the best advice possible to get you back on track.
Now that you’re all grown up, you can see your mother’s wisdom, even if it was hard to understand at the time. But wouldn’t it have been better if you would have listened and understood your mother’s wisdom back then? The same goes for reputation management. It’s better to start now and put policies and strategies into place, so you don’t have to deal with bigger problems later, when it might be too late.