How to Enhance Your Online Reputation Management Strategy

Developing a robust online reputation management strategy is a crucial step in protecting and preserving your brand.

Reputation is arguably more important — and fragile — than ever before. Organizational reputation affects your ability to connect with customers, source new talent, and drive revenue.

Given that 63% of a company’s market value can be attributed to its overall reputation, shouldn’t an online reputation management strategy be top of mind for everyone in your organization?

We’ve all experienced the blistering speed and viral nature of online discourse. A single quote, comment, or commercial can set off a firestorm of negative sentiment. Once a narrative gets rolling, it’s almost impossible to stop.

The PeakMetrics team has helped clients across the commercial landscape safeguard their reputations. Along the way, we’ve discovered that organizations must develop a collaborative, integrated strategy that combines next-gen machine learning with human expertise. 

Let’s dig a little deeper:

5 tips for evolving your online reputation management strategy

Every organization will develop its own unique reputation management framework. However, the most successful strategies often follow a few best practices:

1. Embrace narrative intelligence.

Narrative intelligence is a strategic solution organizations use to detect, decipher, and defend their reputation from online narratives. It’s a core element of any online reputation management efforts, as it empowers brands to gauge threats, shape effective response plans, and quickly make informed decisions.

Narrative intelligence combines the power of AI and machine learning to augment human analysis. Organizations can identify narratives at scale, prioritize their threat level, and take necessary steps to direct the discourse before major reputational damage occurs.

Narrative intelligence is a proactive approach that goes beyond traditional social listening and media monitoring. We’ll talk about the importance of narrative intelligence technology shortly.

2. Make reputation management a company-wide initiative.

Traditionally, Comms and PR teams shouldered the responsibility of reputation management. 

Innovative organizations have since evolved. An “all-hands-on-deck” approach is required to adapt to the speed of online discourse. Every department is responsible for upholding their organization’s reputation, from leadership to data science teams to security and IT:

  • C-Suite leaders should focus on fostering brand resilience to preserve the bottom line.
  • Comms and PR teams must uncover the context around emerging narratives to inform reputational decision-making.
  • Social media teams are tasked with identifying and analyzing fast-moving narratives in real time.
  • Analytics and data science professionals can help surface actionable insights for company leaders at speed and scale.
  • Security teams should safeguard company systems from emerging misinformation and disinformation threats.

An integrated approach is required for effective reputation management.

3. Think beyond your brand.

A comprehensive online reputation management strategy goes beyond monitoring mentions of your brand or organization. It requires a holistic understanding of your competitors, industry, and the broader business and political landscape.

Let’s consider a recent example. In April, HBO released a documentary “Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion,” which focused on exposing toxicity in the Brandy Melville brand. Quickly, public criticism expanded from Brandy Melville to other retail brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, Shein, and Zara. 

Public sentiment is often a complex ecosystem. The ripple effects of public backlash can sometimes be felt far beyond their source. Organizations will do well to maintain a close eye on emerging narratives that could signal reputational risk.

4. Focus on being proactive, not reactive.

We mentioned the traditional approach to reputation management. Through social listening tools and manual analysis, communications pros were tasked with staying on top of the online discourse, often operating in crisis response mode. Once a damaging narrative picked up steam, organizations were left scrambling to backtrack on comments, lock down systems, and in some cases, deal with expensive lawsuits.

A next-gen approach to reputation management is more proactive. Narrative intelligence enables organizations to turn chaotic data into actionable insights and pre-emptively address reputational risks. This frees up more time to shape narratives around their brand. Additionally, public responses can be more prescriptive and targeted — helping to quell reputational risk quickly and with purpose.

5. Find the right tools and technology to support your efforts.

Sure, analysts can manually comb through countless press clippings or social media posts and rely on complex "boolean" queries to surface emerging narratives.

But is that a sustainable strategy for our constantly evolving digital world?

Organizations must be able to react in real time to shape decision-making around emerging narratives. That’s where narrative machine-learning technology comes into play.

Narrative ML automates these formerly manual processes and helps organizations analyze vast amounts of data to pinpoint meaningful emerging trends. Human experts focus on addressing or responding to the identified narratives. Forget about waiting weeks for a report that might quickly become outdated; you want insights at the speed of the internet.

This is why we built PeakMetrics — a narrative intelligence solution to help organizations proactively detect, decipher, and defend against online threats to their reputation.

Discover PeakMetrics’ narrative intelligence solution

PeakMetrics empowers governments and organizations to proactively detect, decipher, and defend against emerging narrative threats. We help you inject narrative intelligence into your online reputation management strategy.

Our proven framework enables you to:

  • Detect emerging threats at the earliest stages;
  • Decipher the meaning of these narratives and prioritize their threat level; and 
  • Defend your reputation with guided plans to combat harmful narratives

Your organization is only as powerful as its reputation. Discover why PeakMetrics can be an essential part of maintaining your brand’s most valuable asset.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get the latest updates and publishings from the PeakMetrics investigations team.