A good day in the life of a publicist runs along the lines of helping your clients promote a grand opening, celebrating a company milestone, organizing a media event, and securing press placements that highlight the latest and greatest achievements of your clients. While we always strive for those good days, we sometimes encounter the other end of the spectrum; a bad yelp review, a story angle that unexpectedly skewed negative, an upset customer ranting on social media, or a critic who had a bad experience that will soon hit print. To maintain your clients’ positive public image, follow these 5 critical reputation management tips:
1. Automate monitoring: Setup automated Google Alerts to receive updates in your inbox about press coverage that ties back to your clients. This allows you to act quickly without manually Googling each of your clients for press updates.
2. Respond to negative reviews: Always politely and professionally respond to negative reviews by addressing the issue and offering to make things right for the customer. Never delete negative reviews as the reviewer may come back and draw more attention to their post getting deleted.
3. Earn positive reviews and brand mentions: Encourage your clients to seek positive reviews from happy customers. Positive reviews and brand mentions are the foundation for improving a company’s online reputation.
4. Combat bad press with good press: While you can’t always control what is negatively published about your client on the internet, you can strive to attain more positive press and improve their SEO. Increasing the amount of positive press about your client will continue adding to their search rankings and with time, push negative press to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th page, and so on of a Google search.
5. Designate a crisis point-person: Ensure that you as the PR professional are handling any and all potential PR crises. Busy CEOs and employees should not be answering questions or commenting about negative scenarios on behalf of the brand.
While negative press and reviews may sometimes be out of our control, there are strategies to efficiently and effectively manage your clients’ reputation. Remember to remain honest and transparent, be responsive, encourage clients to earn their customers' respect and act quickly.