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OPLIN 4Cast #297: Online reputation management

Posted in 4cast

If you listen much to NPR (doesn’t every librarian?), you may have heard some shows that were supported by donations from a company offering to manage your “online reputation.” If you are like us, you may be curious as to how they actually do that, and wondering if it’s something your library should consider. For instance, people may have posted some less-than-flattering things about your library on the Internet, especially during a levy campaign. What can you do — or should you do — to manage the library’s online reputation?

  • Five tools to monitor and manage your online reputation (TechRepublic/Jack Wallen)  “It takes only a few bad comments, posts, or blogs to ruin the reputation you have spent years building. Fortunately, there are tools out there to help you manage that reputation. Those tools aren’t exactly obvious — and you have use caution when selecting them (to make sure you’re not about to get caught up in a scam). But when you find a reliable tool, it’s wise to make use of it.”
  • Inside the mysterious world of online reputation management(ReadWriteWeb/Brian Proffitt)  “According to Reputation Changer, the typical reputation management story goes something like this:
    1. The client — an individual or a company — has a problem with negative search engine listings and social media content
    2. The client engages a reputation management firm to address the problem
    3. The firm posts a series of positive content about the client is placed on the Internet.
    4. This new, positive, content, if delivered properly, begins to push down the negative content off the top pages of search engine results

    Eventually, the negative listings no longer show up on the first page of search results, which represents a much better situation for the client.”

  • Managing your reputation online (Campaigns & Elections/Melanie Batley)  “It’s not mainstream quite yet, admits [ CEO Michael] Fertik. But like search engine optimization (SEO), he thinks it will soon be a must-have service for candidate campaigns. Whether it’s downplaying negative search results or simply monitoring what’s being posted about a candidate in various venues online, ORM [online reputation management] consultants are pitching their services as value added even if campaigns have already mapped out a digital strategy.”
  • What’s in a name? Why companies should worry less about their reputations (The Economist)  “The biggest problem with the reputation industry, however, is its central conceit: that the way to deal with potential threats to your reputation is to work harder at managing your reputation. The opposite is more likely: the best strategy may be to think less about managing your reputation and concentrate more on producing the best products and services you can.”

Reputable Fact:
According to the Reputation Institute [pdf], the three most reputable companies in America this year are General Mills, Kraft Foods, and Johnson & Johnson.