media update’s Nakedi Phala takes you through five ways you can manage your brand’s reputation using PR tactics. 

What is reputation management? Well, it's striving to influence what people think about your brand or business. 

Your reputation is one of the most important aspects of your business. It’s important to manage your reputation in real life and on virtual platforms. Consumers think of your brand based on experience. 

Here are some ways you can manage your brand’s reputation: 

1.  Maintain the reputation of associated personalities 

It is commonly assumed that reputation management is focused on businesses and brands, but it also applies to personalities. This is because a person can be a brand and vice versa. For example, Oprah Winfrey is a famous media personality who has, through the years, made a name for herself. Her brand has grown so much that by simply typing her first name on Google (Oprah Winfrey) will appear in your searches.

As a manager, you should make sure that your brand has the best reputation possible. This could mean hiring the services of a PR professional to managing your brand. This can add value to your current status, show you where your brand needs improvement and how you can go about dealing with them. 

It is vital to preserve your image and to be known as a good brand; this can make you stand out amongst competitors and keep your top of mind with consumers. 

2. Manage your online reputation 

You need to keep track of your business’s online activities, reviews, queries and comments on your website comments section and social media platforms. Also, you need to monitor the forums where people might be talking about your brand and making negative or positive remarks. 

To help keep track of what is being said about your brand on social media, you can acquire the services of a social media monitoring company, such as amaSocial. This service uses artificially intelligent technology to log information from social media platforms, allowing you to easily track who has mentioned you, when they did and what the sentiment of the post was.

3. Follow up on fake news

You should be wary of false news and misinformation about your brand. Fake news is generated by outlets portraying themselves as legit news sites. 

Here are four tips to help you deal with fake news about your brand: 
  1. Assess the content of the story
  2. Call out the false news on your social media platforms
  3. Publish a press release outlining the fake news 
  4. Give clarity and assurance to your audience
Fake news has the power to tarnish your brand’s credibility, so don't ignore any false information said about your brand. Tackle it as early as you can so that the news doesn’t spread further or lead to a full-blown reputation crisis.

This way, your consumers will be in the know from the get-go that a particular individual or site is perpetuating malicious information about your brand, and won’t think less of your brand. 

4. Engage with your audience

Another way to build and maintain a strong reputation is to build a relationship with your consumers. You can do this by having a post-service rating machine at your company’s reception, which has generated questions about your company culture, service and hospitality. These can later be reviewed and common complaints can be investigated and resolved.

Your website you can additionally have a SERVQUAL rating system, which is a rating system that allows you to capture consumer satisfaction and service quality along with their expectations and perceptions of your business or brand or service. 

5. Maintain your image

A negative brand image can affect your growth as a brand. Maintaining a positive brand image begins within your company. Staff should dress well, be polite, maintain professional relationships with clients and be friendly with external parties. 

Remember, to always look neat and tidy wherever you go you represent your brand because you never know who is watching.

Always deliver on the promises you make. If you say you are going to do something, make sure you do. However, if you make a promise and, for some reason, you are unable to follow through, assure your stakeholders or consumers of your actions going forward.

For example, if you were scheduled to be a keynote speaker at an event and you happen to not pitch due to unforeseen circumstances, communicate in time with the event coordinator that you won’t make it to the event so that alternative plans can be made. 

A good reputation is based on your brand’s activities and the people behind it. If everyone can uphold the company’s vision, beliefs and follow the objectives, it will solidify your brand’s status. 

What other elements are important to ensure a good business reputation? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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Now that you’ve learned a few things about reputation management to help manage your brand or business, why not check out these Five ways to handle a public relations crisis.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy