What is ORM and Why is it Important for Branding?
ORM_3

Article Overview

Reading Time: 25 minutes

Posted on: Monday May 13, 2019

If you know what public relations are, then it may be easy for you to understand exactly what Online Reputation Management is. Reputation managers in the real world try to protect the public reputation of their clients through a lot of different methods and tactics, such as charity endorsements, supporting social causes etc. And in case the reputation of the client gets tarnished for some reason, PR agencies come to the rescue and suggest and implement the right course of action to salvage the good name of their client.

Online Reputation Management works in a similar manner, the only differences being that in ORM, professionals try to preserve the online reputation of their clients. The community which is a direct receiver of your news, in this case, is the online community. This community includes the entire web – search engines, forums, blogs, news sites, social networking sites, etc.

Online reputation management is handled in a three pronged process:

  • Tracking the existing brand image online
  • Building up from that existing brand image
  • Fixing damaging reputation

Tracking the existing brand image online

Tracking brand image basically means monitoring and keeping a close eye on the kind of image that exists in the online community regarding your brand. You need to be vigilant about how your online profile is portrayed; what the community says or perceives about you, what aspects or features does your brand name get attached to, questions that clarify your position in the online community.

You have to be mindful about your online reputation, which means asking questions like what’s the latest news about your business, what people think about it, where is it mentioned, what are they talking about when your brand is mentioned. This can be done easily through tons of tools available online, such as Google Alerts, Yahoo Alerts, Twitter Search and Social Mention etc.

Building up from that existing brand image

As soon as you track the existence of your brand in online forums, start building on that brand. The key to ORM is building and building and building on a brand. Facebook, Twitter, Quora and LinkedIn are some of the best platforms to build your brand.

Another great way to build on the brand is through maintaining blogs on your website. Maintaining a blog is not only preferable by search engines, but they can also be used flexibly to fix a bad reputation in case of a reputation crisis.

Fixing damaging reputation

If in case some negative publicity stands to threaten your online reputation, you have to be proactive in implementing these steps to curb further damage:

  • Hire an ORM consultant
  • Contact the owner of the bad reputation site and humbly ask if he/she can put it down
  • If it is against the law, contact any possibly concerned government body and ask them for help to bring it down
  • Ask Google to de-index it if there are any elements in the page against Google’s guidelines

Why is ORM so important?

ORM helps prevent potentially harmful search results that come up with brand name and legal name queries, and then preparing a strategy to take control of those results. Through ORM, your brand can ensure an everlasting positive aura around its name, as even a single damaging reputation can drive a potential customer away from your business and push them towards your competitors.

ORM is of absolute importance for any business, for reasons you may not even be aware of. For example, your company is in talks with a big client for a lucrative contract that you have been planning for months. But the client also has a big brand, so he can’t take any chances. He runs a quick search on search engines and discovers the frustration of an-employee, who has been ranting about how your company mistreats its workers. The client does not want to be associated with a disgraced company, so you end up losing the big-time client.

Prevention better than cure

To avoid all such damaging scenarios, it is important to have a well-functioning ORM system already in place. It has been seen that usually brands hire or take care of the online reputation problem only after the damage has been done. ORM should never reach that stage of cleaning or damage control. ORM is mainly about laying a solid foundation of a socially conscious and foresighted brand that can sense a crisis from a mile away.