Reputation Management The Basics Re-visited
The process of knowing the actions of any person or an organisation and the opinion about it from other person or an organisation along with reporting about it in a systematic way is called reputation management. Usually the word reputation is related to an individual but sometimes even with an organisation. The reputation may be accessed through word of mouth analysis or getting the feedback forms filled up for statistical analysis.
Usually people confuse reputation for image or branding. Both the terminologies have a vast difference. When an image is targeted the process and the effect of transmission is called reputation. The communication of an evaluation without the evaluator being specified is called reputation transmission. Reputation is social, believed and meta-evaluation.
Reputation is dependent on three inter related objects.
1. Cognitive representation: This is a believed evaluation. This could be the image of someone or some organisation. This representation and evaluation consists of a communicated evaluation.
2. Object of the population: the most common example of this is propagating evaluation that is believed upon.
3. Emergent Objective property at the level of the agent. Reputation is very dynamic. Reputation can change. The reputation is the result of multilevel bidirectional process.
The definition of reputation management can differ along with the situations that the company faces. Reputation Management is managing the reputation of a large company or a medium sized company or small company. The reputation management is also dependent on life of the company, whether it has just started or in the growth phase of lag phase of its life cycle. The three types of reputation management are as follows.
• Preparatory: When the reputation management is need in the pre-establishment stages of any organisation it is called preparatory reputation management. Usually preparatory reputation management is considered a precautionary measure.
• Building: The term Building Reputation Management is used when the company is in the starting phase of its life cycle or the company has just started. The objective of this is to maintain the present reputation and take corrective measures and precautions if needed because the company needs to first survive and then grow as time progresses. This reputation management is also called introductory reputation management.
• Incremental: When the organisation is in the growth phase of the life cycle then the incremental reputation management becomes necessary.
• Maintenance: When the company wants to maintain the good reputation that it has created in the public, the reputation management is called Maintenance Reputation Management. This sort of reputation management is for the companies that are already in the growth and maturity phase of their life cycle. In short these companies are well established and already have a good reputation. This reputation management is also called Experiential Reputation Management.
• Recovery: The Recovery Reputation Management is just like disaster management. This sort of reputation management is carried out when the company has already got a bad reputation in the market and wants to correct the situation by amending the mistakes. In this exercise the good marketing and self promotion techniques are used to hide the bad reputation of the company. This type of reputation management is usually needed in the decline stage of the organisation. This is also called Perspective Reputation Management.
Reputation has four faces. It could be excellent, good, bad or even ugly.
1. Excellent: This means that the organisation holds the pinnacle place with reference to assessment of the reputation. This means that
• the company is the best of corporate governance,
• the product or service is of high quality,
• the company has strong corporate compliance
• it has strong corporate compliance
• the brand values are strong,
• the risk can be anticipated and managed properly
• the relations with all those associated is without major friction,
• contractual agreements are fulfilled
• there is effective communication,
• the vision, strategy and plan are clear , transparent and
• the company is trustworthy.
2. Good: The organisations tagged to have good reputation are net to those considered excellent just because they fall short of being the best at one or two of the above mentioned key issues.
3. Bad: When a company or a person causes a breach of trust then usually it is labelled to be of bad reputation. There are many organisations in this category.
4. Ugly: When the reputation is worst and pathetic it is tagged as ugly. High level of deception and perfidy that can ruin an organization or individual is tagged as ugly.
Following are the key issues to be taken into consideration for reputation management.
• All the issues that affect the reputation should be identified and listed
• Each issues should be analysed for its present, past and possible future affects on the reputation of the organisation
• The change strategy has to be formulated to keep the effect of every issue in control
• The strategy formulated for reputation management has to be put into implementation
• The feedback of the affect has to be evaluated.
In this age of internet marketing, the tools for reputation management are different. Once a company’s or a product’s reputation is spoiled on the internet, no matter how much effort you put into reputation management , be sure it will take at least 3 months for the results to be seen.
Some of the tools for online reputation management are as follows
• Blogging: Daily updating of the blog is required. More the positive matter about your product and company in the blogs more is the correction in the reputation.
• Directory Listings: Optimised key words should be used for listing a website in the directories. When your website is listed on the first page of any search engine, it is usually going to bring business to you.
• Direct Reviews: There are websites where a person can write his /her review about any product or company. Hire someone to write good reviews of the product or company on the websites. This will build the reputation of the product or the company.
• Online Publicity: the reputation can be managed by writing articles as well as by banners.
• Social net working: The pages can be positioned on different website to enhance the reputation.
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