While some online reputation management (ORM) practitioners have high ethical standards, many work in a way that is inconsistent with the PRSA’s Code of Ethics — and ultimately risky for their clients’ reputations as well. Similar to black-hat SEO firms, they offer a “quick fix” rather than doing the harder work of getting to the root of a reputation problem.
Some examples of these questionable practices include:
Jacob Media Holding brings a different mindset to online reputation. We take the longer view. The right way to improve a reputation includes:
Taking this more strategic view doesn’t mean you can’t address issues quickly. For example, let's take a look a reputation management challenge our agency took on recently:
We had a client—a global midmarket company—that had a long history of a positive reputation, but that had been acquired two years earlier, leading to many changes in leadership, organizational structure and product strategy in a short time. This led to dozens of negative Glassdoor reviews and a three-star rating — a big turnoff not only to prospective employees, but also potential clients.
Even with swift changes to improve employee morale and an active internal NPS program, it can take months to improve a poor Glassdoor rating. The client understandably wanted the public to know about the changes it had made, and the happy employees it had earned, sooner than that.
So we recommended that they set up authentic profiles, with authentic reviews, on alternative employer review sites. These sites are not as well known as Glassdoor, but by establishing a presence on them, the client could draw those reviews to the first page of the client’s branded search results. This would provide a more well-rounded view of the company.
Reputation management has undergone some big changes over the last century — and in all likelihood, those changes will continue. Should you choose an agency to help you navigate this evolving landscape, be sure to choose one that adheres to ethical standards of conduct, such as PRSA’s Code of Ethics. It’s the right thing to do, and will achieve more lasting results over time.