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Businesses Can Rise or Fall Based on Online Reputation

By: Julie Price

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It’s a vast and complex area of modern marketing that can quite simply make or break a business: Online reputation management (ORM) is pretty much everything these days for customer-based companies in the world of Google, Yelp and other digital review media.

Online reputation management is what it sounds like: It’s a method for business people to monitor whatever is being said about them and their businesses by their clients and customers on the internet – and to respond appropriately to it.

With the proliferation of business review websites and virtual word of mouth, and with online reviews affecting the spending decisions of some 90 percent of consumers, according to a recent study, online reputation management has rapidly risen to a necessary art form and an increasingly important niche area of internet marketing.

Businesspeople at all levels in all fields should be aware of the risks and the benefits associated with their online reputations and their best options for dealing with them.

For those responsible for marketing some of the more reputation-based businesses – attorneys, financial advisers and building contractors, for example – their careers can rise and fall on reputation and public perception.

Our advice

As the reach of the internet continues to grow, the first advice we give our clients is to include ORM in their marketing budgets going forward.

Of course, we make it clear that, if you’re truly engaged in ORM, there is always the chance that you’ll uncover some bad news you’d rather not have; in terms of ORM, controlling the spread of negative publicity across the web is the greatest challenge.

But we’re also clear on the good news: You are in control. Ultimately, you get to decide how you would like to manage your businesses’ reputations. With honesty and humility? (We recommend this.) With humor? (Sometimes a good idea.) With apologies? (Only if a complaint is fully warranted; if it’s wholly unfounded, we recommend zero engagement.) And how do you want to publicize the positive feedback? (Happy dilemma.)

Positive feedback is a beautiful thing. It’s the kind of news that should be shared across as many media as possible, online and otherwise, in as savvy a way as possible, and we’re more than happy to help. Spreading good news is the fun part of ORM.

For more information on what we do, including online reputation management, call us at 805-565-3990 or visit