A good reputation - online and offline - is clearly key to your success. We look at how to clean up your online reputation and whether to hire the pros, or simply do-it-yourself.
Online reputation management might seem like a full-time job, but that's not necessarily the case. If you take the steps to gauge the general tone of your brand's online presence and discover that you're doing a pretty good job, retaining a professional reputation defence company to obliterate one or two bad reviews makes little sense.
If, on the other hand, your brand has a less-than-stellar reputation on the internet, be aware that there is no one-step route to a rehabilitated rep; slow and steady relationship building is the most effective way to gain the reputation you desire. In most instances, a small business's marketing teams should be able to handle online reputation management, since much of the task involves basic social networking and website upkeep, along with reaching out to the clientele.
Unfortunately, bad things have a way of snowballing - or 'going viral' - on the internet, so it's possible that a bad hit to your reputation can become a big deal if you handle it poorly or fail to handle it at all. In these situations, having someone - whether it be a professional company or a full-time staff member - dedicated to protecting your reputation can be very helpful. If your online reputation is getting too hot to handle, for whatever reason, bringing in professional help should remove some of the stress. But no matter how professional a company or individual dedicated to online reputation management may be, ultimately they can't do anything that you couldn't do yourself with enough time and persistence.