In this episode of Actionable Marketing In Minutes we have the first part of a series discussing reputation management. Today we talk about the actual cost of reputation management.

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Do you know what people are saying about you online? Traditional marketing has always known the value of word of mouth marketing. Today the internet, well, more specifically search engines, has made knowing what people are saying about you even more important than traditional word of mouth marketing. Why? Because 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So if your reputation isn’t managed well it could be very costly. Not only that but in part two of this series we will discuss how what people say about you online impacts your search results.

Have you heard the story about American Airlines and their costly run in with a guitar? No? Well it cost the airline $180 million and a 10% loss in their stock prices. What happed was a passenger witnessed the airline mishandling his guitar which resulted in the instrument being seriously damaged. The airline refused to pay for the damages so the passenger — musician David Caroll — wrote a song, United Breaks Guitars. The YouTube video was a huge hit with more than 15 million views and the major contributor to the airlines dip in stock prices.

Regardless of the reason, when a company has a bad reputation, business is simply more difficult to conduct, the cost of doing business increases and it’s far more difficult to retain customers and employees, shareholders, and other important stakeholders, than it is in good times. So, what do you do when / if you suffer from a poor online reputation?


Arguably, protecting an organization’s reputation is the most important yet difficult task facing senior management teams and boards of directors today. First, it’s important to point out that reputation management is a game best played using offense. When you’re on the defense, when you’re trying to fix a negative online sentiment it’s an uphill battle that takes a lot more work than had you started your vigilance early and when things were calm and clean. However, if you find your business in a toxic situation, here are some things you can do to keep your reputation on track:

* Monitor! This is first and foremost. If you don’t know whether or not you have a negative reputation, how can you fix it? There are a lot of tools as well as agencies such as DirectiveGroup that offer services to help you monitor your online reputation. But just like protecting your online identity, monitoring isn’t enough.

* You need to respond to what is out there and be proactive in acquiring positive reviews, testimonials, and stories from happy customers.

* Finally, never become complacent. The moment you think you’re safe something will happen. What I mean is that just because there isn’t negative chatter around your business doesn’t mean that you don’t need a reputation management program. Be proactive in building your brand as a strong company to do business with.

You know, Benjamin Franklin once said “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and only one bad one to lose it. No other words have ringed so true as this statement. Especially in today’s digital, share-everything world.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Please connect with us on Twitter @DirectiveGroup or on LinkedIn. Let us know what you think and what you’d like to hear about next. And if you like our podcasts, please share with your networks using hashtag #actionablemarketing. Join us next time for part two of our series on reputation management as we talk about how reputation tracking can lead to improved local SEO.