One of the core takeaways AmOne had from PubCon Las Vegas 2013 is very much in keeping with the company philosophy. That takeaway? Always be helping. A quote from Abraham Lincoln was used to illustrate the concept of reputation management as well as the idea that a company should always be helping.
“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
President Abraham Lincoln
Always Be Helping came from the first session attended, “Advanced Reputation Management”, with Andy Beal and Erin Jones of trackur, a software platform that enables businesses to monitor mentions in social media as well as to analyze sentiment. Reputation management is a growing issue for businesses, particularly small businesses, and one of the ways that an organization can build and maintain a good reputation is by being helpful. How does this work? It helps to build a community around your brand, creating evangelists who can, of their own accord, promote and protect your company.
83 percent of businesses will suffer a reputation attack that will devalue their company by 25 percent.
Advanced Reputation Management, PubCon Las Vegas 2013
Additionally, be mindful that your offline reputation is the same as your online reputation. If you are a genuine, helpful, good company offline, that should be reflected in your online presence as well. More importantly, perhaps, your online reputation as a good company to do business with should hold true offline.
The following session continued on the reputation management track, with a focus on monitoring. Andy Beal moderated a panel featuring Michael Streko of KnowEm, Rhea Drysdale of Outspoken Media, and Melyssa St.Michael of Rockfish. An interesting viewpoint on reputation management was presented by Melyssa St.Michael: expectation as opposed to reputation. Businesses should shift their focus from managing their reputation and managing customer expectations. A three-pronged defense of your reputation (or expectation) is to address your website, which is the only media in your control, reputation defense, and content defense. Knowing your vulnerabilities in these areas can help you to better prepare for situations ranging from an unhappy customer leaving a bad review to an attack on your company by a competitor or other individual.
A special thank you goes out to Andy Beal, Michael Streko, Rhea Drysdale, Melyssa St.Michael, Tony Wright, Tim Wagner, and Clint Spaulding of WrightIMC, and Kevin Lee of Didit for their insights and the opportunity to speak with them individually on reputation management and the challenges faced by small businesses.