The two essential elements of reputation management have thus already been named: Image building through storytelling and image protection through crisis prevention and crisis communication. Both require a forward-looking and sustainable communication policy.
Reputation management and the power of opinion in the Internet
The reputation of a company is roughly fed by two factors: on the one hand by the evaluation of the company itself and on the other hand by the evaluation of its products, services and employees, especially its management.
When it comes to obtaining information, the Internet leads the media canon. This is already evident from the enormous importance that the Internet has today for researching journalists, i.e. for the “classical” media: Almost 50 percent of journalists today discover their topics on Twitter, and almost 40 percent each on Facebook or other social networks.
About 40 percent of media workers also do research on YouTube. And among consumers, i.e. readers and viewers, the situation is no different: 70 percent of young adults visit portal sites (such as Google News), 60 percent visit websites of TV stations, 50 percent visit online offerings of online opinion makers (e.g. bloggers), 40 percent visit online offerings of traditional newspapers.
The strong power of the web is fuelled by rating portals and other online platforms. More and more consumers are avoiding traditional advertising. It therefore makes sense that around 50 percent of all consumers take personal recommendations into account when making purchasing decisions.
Among online users, this proportion is as high as 90 percent. This increases the relevance of rating pages. The employer rating portal kununu must also be mentioned in this context. Today, qualified new employees who do not use this portal to pre-select their favourite employers are increasingly seldom recruited.
Reputation management and image communication
As part of modern social monitoring, vibrio integrates three monitoring concepts:
- Issue Monitoring
- The topic analysis covers the topics of the time discussion in the industry or in the business environment.
- Issue monitoring provides the topics on which vibrio brings its customers into conversation and into the media.
- Stakeholder monitoring
- The partner analysis records the statements of the partners and relevant multipliers (media, social media opinion leaders). We try to establish direct partnerships with the new opinion makers in blogs and on Facebook as well as with journalists.
- The key players relevant to the customer are defined on the basis of existing relationships, but also with tools such as “SocialBro” and “Blogoscoop”.
- Brand Monitoring
- The brand analysis records statements about company and product brands in print media, on the Internet and in social media. This means that we become aware of communication crises at an early stage.
An example of stakeholder qualification using the tool Audiense
Successful reputation management via the Internet and social media requires clearly defined processes. These range from Google-optimized press releases and alert processes in monitoring to established blogger and Twitterati programs and social media events.
Reputation management and crisis communication.
“When the crisis comes, it’s usually too late.” This sentence is doubly valid: On the one hand, forward-looking image communication on the Internet is very helpful in avoiding crises. The more established a brand is on the web, the more difficult it will be for critics and trolls to dominate online communication: Attacks that Google cannot find will not trigger a crisis! On the other hand, a pre-defined crisis strategy makes it easier to react to sudden crises.
Internal responsibilities and communication channels, partly also concrete contents and statements, can and should be defined before a crisis occurs. Then typical reputation crises, such as the ones that follow, can be expected with relative reassurance.