(Excerpts from Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reputation_management)
Reputation management (sometimes referred to as rep management or ORM) is the practice of attempting to shape public perception of a person or organization by influencing information about that entity, primarily online. What necessitates this shaping of perceptions being the role of consumers in any organization and the cognizance of how much if ignored these perceptions may harm a company’s performance at any time of the year, a risk no entrepreneur or company executive can afford.
Specifically, reputation management involves the monitoring of the reputation of an individual or a brand on the internet, addressing content which is potentially damaging to it, and using customer feedback to try to solve problems before they damage the individual’s or brand’s reputation. A major part of reputation management involves suppressing negative search results, while highlighting positive ones. For businesses, reputation management usually involves an attempt to bridge the gap between how a company perceives itself and how others view it.
A fast growing discipline and corporate necessity, reputation management is widely acknowledged as a valuable intangible asset which can be one of the most important sources of competitive edge in a fiercely competitive market. Other benefit of sound reputation management practices is how much they reinforce and aid a corporation’s branding objectives. Good reputation management practices are also important in helping any entity manage staff confidence as a control tool on public perceptions.
Some of the tactics used by reputation management firms include:
- Improving the tagging and search engine optimization of company-published materials, such as white papers and positive customer testimonials in order to push down negative content
- Publishing original, positive websites and social media profiles, with the aim of outperforming negative results in a search
- Submitting online press releases to authoritative websites in order to promote brand presence and suppress negative content
- Submitting legal take-down requests if someone believes they have been libeled
- Getting mentions of the business or individual on third-party sites that rank highly on Google
- Proactively offering free products to prominent reviewers
- Proactively responding to public criticism stemming from recent changes
- Removing or suppressing images that are embarrassing or violate copyright