Using your, .info, .net to work for you

There are many different ways to enhance the way you are perceived online, whether your have great commentary floating around or negative critics trying to attack you.

The first step in creating your digital identity is to HAVE an identity, a brand, a mission, a public face.

Your online reputation revolves around your decision to have a specific digital identity.

Think of it like this: if you are sitting on the beach with a truck load of sand, imagine that every grain says something different about you.

No one has a reasonable chance of understand how each grain really represents you, but you can make it easier by forming the grains of sand into a sand castle, sculpture, or statement about you. Read more

Online Reputation, articles from our founder

In addition to some of the exclusive content here @ Social Media Reputation, our founder’s blog has a variety of informational articles covering the crossroads of online privacy, reputation management, and corporate risk. He deals with a variety of elements that touch within these three spheres, while also looking at the benefit points within each.

If you would like us to review a specific reputation management item or dive deeper into one of these issues, simply contact us and we’ll take a look at it! You can also follow our tweets @ceoreputation

  • Online Privacy and our Digital Crisis – there is so much data created, shared, collected, and sold about us as individuals that we all need to take more responsibility for.
  • Corporate Reputation on Complaint Sites – businesses spend a huge amount of effort creating on-going reputations, but new ‘net savvy’ businesses are using complaint sites to steal brand traffic and cause significant damages.
  • Reputation Management and Work Life Balance – tired of having a split personality online? this article talks about the details and reasoning behind a personal and professional online presence.
  • Avvo Ratings, why lawyers and doctors should be scared – attorneys and doctors are low-hanging “SEO Fruit” to own online. Find out how different professional niches are being targeted by new online business models to steal online brand traffic that includes prospects, clients, employees, and more.

If you have any questions about digital brand or reputation management, please feel free to use the comments below or share some questions via e-mail.

Hotel Reputation, TripAdvisor being targeted to comply

Destination owners who are suffering from hotel reputation problems caused by TripAdvisor and similar review sites may have a light showing up at the end of the tunnel.

KwikChex (a  U.K. based online monitoring service) released a press release targeting negative reviewers, saying that it plans to publish a list of suspects that are fraudulent and defamatory.

While this sounds like a good step forward against complaint sites that affect business, we are just beginning to see a round of industry centric lawsuits regarding online reputation. In August Google was ordered to name anonymous online bullies. This further defined precedent cases for online slander and libel in the U.S., while opening up other international conversations like those involving TripAdvisor.

Chris Emmins, Co-founder of KwixChex – is leading a legal challenge in the U.K. that has amassed 800+ properties and how TripAdvisor affects hotel reputation.

The reality is that this ‘trend’ is costing the hotel industry millions of dollars.
(as we previous covered in Hotel Reputations, search brand value under attack )

According to Tnooz Travel Tech Talk, Chris had confirmed several aspects of the case being brought fourth:

  1. Cases based on TripAdvisor allegedly being responsible for misrepresenting standards/quality of businesses that its systems have singled out.
  2. Cases where serious allegations have been made that have been supposedly supported by TripAdvisor by means of a pop-up stating: “This review was written by a trusted member of the TripAdvisor community”. Kwikchex claims this is an endorsement.
  3. Court action to disclose information on identities of posters making defamatory comments.

TripAdvisor is fighting back on hotel reputation, issuing “red boxes” against hotels that attempt to manipulate review results –

“TripAdvisor has reasonable cause to believe that individuals or entities associated with or having an interest in this property may have interfered with traveller reviews and/or the popularity index for this property. We make our best efforts to identify suspicious content and are always working to improve the processes we use to assess traveller reviews.”

This is just the beginning, not the end

While companies like KwikChex are moving forward to target negative hotel reputation and review sites, such properties have a list of rights and protections regarding free speech. Outside of hotel reputation issues, complaint sites such as RipoffReport and have both managed to win court cases defending negative commentary.

Businesses dealing with hotel reputation or online reputation management issues need to be aware that legal systems are decades behind our web usage trends.
There are few (if any) up-to-date laws regarding the specifics of how internet conversation is monitored, managed and regulated.

As new laws are written, it is fairly common to see ‘web enabled’ companies like TripAdvisor have pre-existing migration paths to newer methodologies that are NOT covered by current legal decisions.

This effectively places web content companies in a continual 18 to 60 month process gap that regulating and legal groups cannot catch up with. (it is the very nature of many web content business models to target business models that have undefined business opportunities and little existing precedent.)

If you know of any hotel reputation problems worth checking out, leave a comment below or tweet us @ceoreputation

HP CEO Mark Hurd fired, HP brand in the bullseye

On Friday August , HP CEO Mark Hurd was ousted from the top of the monolithic electronics giant. While Wall Street may be treating HP with an optimistic outlook – the small shift is only a sign that HP has released a critical brand target that resonates through-out the corporate ecosystem.

“Investors are clearly nervous. Shares of HP plunged 7% on Monday despite the fact that the company also issued bullish guidance Friday after the bell. Of course, nobody cared because that’s when HP also announced the Hurd mess.”
~ Paul R. La Monica (CNN MONEY)

Mark Hurd has been upheld as a thought-leader and effective business man, but his reason for leaving the throne of HP revolves around indiscretion with a female HP contractor. Read more

Reputation Management and Internet Privacy articles

In recent reputation management and internet privacy conversations, we are seeing an increased trend in users and corporations going head to head. These recent articles give a good perspective on some recent debate points that CEOs and executives should be reviewing:

Facebook to Simplify Privacy Controls : Facebook is simplifying its privacy controls amid growing unrest from many of its users. Protesters have been organizing campaigns to quit Facebook and privacy groups have complained to regulators after Facebook announced new features last month, including “instant personalization” that tailors other websites to users’ Facebook profiles.

Senate Preps Online Policy for Candidates: Lawmakers voted Tuesday to establish rules for candidates using Facebook, Twitter and other social networking websites, making Maryland one of the first states in the nation to regulate the increasingly popular means of campaigning. Starting two weeks from now, candidates must begin including an authority line — a declaration of approval that lists their campaign treasurer — on the social networking sites run by their campaigns.

Senate Preps Regulation for Online Privacy:  A Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on online privacy Tuesday will focus on technologies used to collect and use consumer information and could help lay the groundwork for legislation governing those practices.

Facebook Launches User Safety Page: Facebook doesn’t aspire to the status of a nation state. All its users are citizens of other countries with their own governments, police forces and armies. Yet given Facebook’s immense scale, it’s not surprising the social networking site feels it shares responsibility for the safety of its users.

Corporate Reputation Management top stories

While there are many ways of looking at corporate reputation management, our team is constantly reading industry peers and like-minded professionals across a variety of organizational levels.

As we often see first hand: the main problem with corporate reputation resides from the fact that it has hundreds of different touch points ranging across the company. This includes top level CEO reputation, executives, managers, employees, product issues, marketplace concerns, and industry shifts.

This gives corporate communicators a huge task in the digital world: attempt to maneuver through hundreds of thousands of interconnected personal webs without becoming helplessly caught in the chaos.

To help broaden your perspective on how reputation affects larger organizations, we have to really think outside the standard box and consider these additional touch points. Without giving yourself some breadth to your perspective on corporate reputation management, you mistakenly apply tactical solutions instead of holistic strategy. With a strong education, you can detail your corporate reputation value (click to see a quick example of United Airlines reputation value.) Read more

Hotel Reputation 101, follow-up offline

Many hotels and destination resorts are being plagued by guest reviews on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Travelpost – many hoteliers are wondering “what should I do next?”

The answer revolves around two simple points:

  • practice good customer service
  • search engine optimization is not always your friend

As a business owner or staff member, if you can keep these two points front-of-mind… then you are a lot farther to saving your sanity and protecting your business.  Read more

Forbes Publishes Reputation Institutes 2010 Most Reputable Companies

Based on 24,977 online interviews and asking people about their perceptions of the nation’s largest companies, the Reputation Institute reviewed services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, financial performance and leadership.With all those numbers… it came out with a score of 0 to 100. Read more

How can a CEO improve a company’s reputation?

This is a complex question with an easy answer. This is a concept that feels soft and fluffy, but in reality the core answer is be a leader and create change.

In almost every instance of poor reputation, the realm of social media and online conversation magnifies the risk enterprise businesses face. CEOs and companies with bad results become simple victims of inaction. This is a thought that I detailed in my article CEO reputation, how to lead or fail online.

If we step back for a moment and simply look at the method of communication used at the executive level, many large companies are preaching about how transparent and real they are… but secretly hiding dozens of clients that they expect to keep hidden.

While some privacy is deserved, the larger an organization becomes the more gossip and conversation occurs. Interacting with thousands of employees or hundreds of thousands of consumers creates an almost infinite number of holes within the concept of a corporate walled garden. The solution to this problem is to understand the conversation and not be blindsided by its presence.

Moving into the realm of management and as a coordinator of storytelling, the job becomes difficult in adhering to the truthful and factual nature of business.

We need to accept this basic truth:

  • Leaders create change. They explore options. The make hard decisions.
  • CEOs take paychecks. Maintain the status qou. Excel in mediocrity.

So the fundamental answer to the question “How can a CEO improve a company’s reputation?” is simply=-

“A CEO cannot improve a company’s reputation, only a leader can.”

Corporate Reputation and Recruiting

As founder of Social Media Reputation, I am always interacting with multiple professional groups and coordinating dozens of projects. As such, I maintain a “personal blog” that connects several of our partner services and serves as a home for articles that fit into several categories. In that facet, I wanted to point you over to my personal blog where you can find several items regarding how online reputation and corporate brand affects the recruiting silo.

The first article is for job seekers: How to Write a Resume, Interactive Personal Branding 101. – This includes several tips on maximizing your digital presence as a professional. It is really helpful even if you are “safe and happy” in your current position. The steps I review are valuable assets that gain over time and get better with age.

The second and third items are two webinars that I have the privilege to recently present for the Wall Street Journal.

Webinar #1Corporate Reputation and Online Recruiting. Confused about how Twitter, Facebook, and Local search interact with job hunting? This twenty-five minute presentation discusses some interesting points on how candidates in the digital world interact with business brands during the recruiting process. As an employer or a job candidate, both type of professional gain some great insight to how different cogs interact during the job process.

Webinar #2Social Media Recruiting – this covers some useful tools for gathering information about candidates and potential employers. When trying to present a company as an “employer of choice” or trying to stand out as an “amazing candidate”, online information and your ability to find useful data creates dozens of exceptional opportunities that less savvy professionals don’t have access to.