5 Ways to Salvage Your Online Reputation


The past few months in the media have been all about bringing down individuals to hopeless depths of scandal and humiliation based on their unpopular social beliefs. Online content and social media are playing a significant role in changing how the public views an individual or group, and it’s critical to learn how to effectively salvage your reputation online. Here are 5 ways to get back into the public’s good graces following a crisis:

1. Respond quickly. Timing is everything. If you wait too long to address your audience, they could view you as hesitant or unapologetic. One approach is to publish a brief initial message mentioning that your business is aware of the situation and will release an official statement soon.

2. Be sincere. While it’s important to respond quickly, don’t shortchange the quality of your message. Negative situations can immediately become unsalvageable by a response that isn’t transparent and sincere. Put yourself in your audience’s place. What would you like to hear if you were on the outside looking in?

3. Stay consistent. A disjointed message will create confusion. Make sure to keep your message consistent across your online platforms. While it makes sense to change the content slightly to fit the platform, it’s important to keep a consistent voice and message across the board.

4. Pay attention to what people are saying. When you’re trying to come up with a way to respond to your audience during a crisis, it can be easy to close out the outside world while you’re focusing on creating the perfect statement. Instead, pay attention to what the public is saying so you can address any and all concerns that may arise. You don’t have to read every single comment or tweet, but get the gist of what’s happening in the buzz so you’re on point for a response.

5. Reach out directly to people affected by the mistake. A little bit goes a long way. While you don’t have to pull an Oprah and buy all of your clients a new car, find a way to appease them that’s thoughtful and sincere. Again, put yourself and your PR team in the client’s place. How would you want a company to respond to you in this situation?

So while they say, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity,” there are definitely cases in which a mishandled situation can hurt your business. But with the right response tools, you can get your business back on a positive track!

What other tips do you have for businesses trying to salvage their reputations online?


Emily Kishler • May 15, 2014

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