Does An Online Image and Reputation Matter?
Not being a fan of ‘elephants’ in the room so begins this –
‘Does my online image matter?Should do I hire an internet reputation management firm?’ This is a question many don’t give enough serious consideration to. Allow this example to illuminate the point; There is a young professional who has just applied for that dream job. Now one of the many reasons this is such a wonderful position is because of who this company is, their standard. Accordingly they put a great deal of emphasis on the character of those whom they employ. Social media profiles are becoming more and more of a player in hiring decisions.
Back to our young hopeful professional, who is not unfamiliar with an after hours night on occasion, okay fair enough. But most recently one of those occasional nights met a camera phone which was essentially online content from that point forward. Does it matter? (if you are a speed reader and don’t get it then perhaps some of those skills may need honed – just saying.) Well what if it wasn’t someone else in line for that perfect position?
That is on a completely personal level. Imagine how much wider a scope and how many more people and potential customers will be reached.
Reputations Can Be Controlled
Now then, what if this is a small start up or young business? So obviously an online image, the reputation of a person or company could be impacted. Here is the beauty of the curse, the power is in the owner’s hands. The image portrayed online, the decisions on how to market x-brand or person or company, can all be controlled. Who is the audience, and how does the online reputation campaign go about connecting with them? These are some of the many questions that are evaluated by online image and reputation management services.
The impact of an online reputation for a business or company is truly difficult to quantify because of the massive potential of reach. What message a company wants to deliver, how they choose to do and say it will help define themselves to their customers. How they manage and well they manage that reputation can put a company on the map or potentially take them off of it. There are thriving companies today that can claim that the reason behind their success had everything to do with an online marketing and reputation management plan.
Is it important? Well it is important enough for anyone whose livelihood, career or image is tied to the public in any way. It’s important enough that they are more than willing to spend real money on managing their image. Not only have company PR departments added social media and online image management to the role of PR personnel, entire companies are now built on doing just that, managing online reputations and public image. It used to be that nearly anyone in the public eye would have someone or an entire staff dedicated to public image. (This is the curse) Today anyone can and at some point may be in the public eye due to social media.