Corporate reputation management is a set of actions intended to maintain a strong and positive image for your brand, prevent reputation damage, or repair your reputation if it has been negatively impacted.
Corporate reputation management activities monitor every part of your corporate reputation, including:
Products or services
Corporate social responsibility, including community and environmental responsibility, philanthropy and volunteerism
Corporate reputation management is a long-term process that requires expertise, resources and time.
For digital brands, this type of management requires online reputation management, which includes monitoring brand mentions across all digital platforms and channels.
For brick-and-mortar brands, this includes monitoring and managing brand mentions across the press, TV and radio.
Corporate Reputation Management vs. PR
Though related and working hand in hand, corporate reputation management differs from public relations.
Corporate reputation management focuses on how your brand image is reflected in print and social media, including ratings and reviews. More general in nature, PR focuses on securing publications and exposure for your brand, and helping with crisis communications, when needed.
The Importance Of Corporate Reputation Management
Why is this type of management so important for a brand?
Effective corporate reputation management:
Enhances customer loyalty
Strengthens industry presence
Increases company market value
Improves employee retention
Secures a positive partner image for suppliers and vendors
Reveals new opportunities for strategic partnerships
Efficient corporate reputation management increases your company’s market value, strengthens your industry presence, enhances customer loyalty and improves employee retention
Examples Of Corporate Reputation Management [Positive & Negative]
Here are two examples illustrating how brands addressed complaints from clients.
In 2008, the Canadian musician Dave Carroll traveled to Nebraska by United Airlines for a one-week tour. As a result of improper baggage handling, his $3,500 Taylor guitar was seriously damaged.
Nine months of emails and calls asking United Airlines for assistance brought no results. Though not denying the incident was their fault, the airline refused to compensate the musician for the damage.
Carroll decided to approach the issue in a different way, creating a song based on the story and posting it on YouTube in 2009. Within one day, the video generated 150,000 views. Within three days, the number of views was at half a million.
The result for United Airlines?
A 10% loss in market value, which cost $180 million for its shareholders.
Lesson learned: Never ignore your customers’ problems. Monitor reviews and complaints, and respond to them as soon as possible.
In 2017, a Tesla customer complained on Twitter of coming across “a terrible experience with a very pushy sales guy from Tesla’s Stanford shop while shopping for model X.”
Tesla’s CEO, the billionaire Elon Musk, was fast to address the frustration of this single customer personally, informing him Tesla’s employees were promptly reminded that what really matters is that “people look forward to their next visit.”
The result for Tesla?
An avalanche of approval for Musk’s responsiveness and hundreds of comments from customers about the positive experience they had at Tesla stores.
Lesson learned: Listen to your audiences and show dedication to your work. Reply to any concerns customers might have when interacting with your brand to turn them into your brand ambassadors.
How To Measure Your Corporate Reputation
There are numerous approaches to corporate reputation measurement.
The most common approaches include:
Check Your PageRank
PageRank is a Google search algorithm that ranks your web pages on a search engine results page (SERP), i.e. it arranges them according to their importance.
PageRank shows how many inbound links from authoritative and trustworthy sites lead to your content.
Positioning yourself on the PageRank scale through publishing relevant authoritative content that makes your website link-worthy, will help you improve your search engine positioning and positively affect your online reputation.
To check your PageRank, use tools such as Sitechecker or DNS’ Pagerank Checker Tool.
Research Your Online Ratings And Reviews
Online reviews contain key information about the experience your customers have had with your brand.
Customers trust companies with ratings that are above 4 stars
Higher ratings are given to responsive industry leaders
Customers expect a response to negative reviews within the time range of three days to a week
To measure your customer sentiment, use natural language processing (NLP) tools, such as IBM Watson, MonkeyLearn or Aylien. Using artificial intelligence, NLP tools allow you to access and analyze enormous amounts of data.
Check Your Local Search Ranking
Your local search ranking helps you identify whether your brand appears in local search results when customers are looking for a business close to their location.
Analyzing your local search ranking can help you identify opportunities to attract local traffic.
Check Your Brand’s Likes And Followers On Social Media
Monitoring the number of followers and likes you have on social media will give you information about the number of users who find your content valuable and trustworthy, and who are willing to engage and create a bond with your brand.
To monitor your social media performance, you can use tools such as Hootsuite.
How To Build A Corporate Reputation Management Strategy
Explore our six-step guide to building a successful corporate reputation management strategy:
1. Create A Reputation Management Team
Assign specific responsibilities to each team member. These responsibilities may extend to the collection and analysis of data, removal of negative digital information, social media management, review management and public relations.
2. Audit Your Online Presence
Review all current mentions related to your brand, whether positive, negative or neutral. These can include articles, news and social media comments.
Check all online reviews of your business posted by both customers and employees
Review your presence on both claimed and unclaimed business profiles
Check how your company appears when you use search phrases for your brand and industry
3. Analyze Your Brand’s Standing
Explore all existing threats that may negatively affect your reputation, such as customer complaints, negative reviews or negative media mentions
Evaluate the overall customer sentiment about your brand
Identify opportunities for reputation growth and improvement
4. Compare Your Brand To The Competition
Research how your local and national competitors perform for high-volume search phrases
Check the performance of your competitors on social platforms and online review sites
Analyze your competition’s brand messaging, brand awareness and sentiment among key target audiences
Identify your weak and strong areas along with opportunities for improvement