It’s almost impossible to win with shameless link baiting, especially when it relates to a tragedy but that didn’t stop The Huffington Post’s blogger Tricia Fox from trying it anyway. On the day following the death of Amy Winehouse the posted her first blog titled “Amy Winehouse’s Untimely Death Is a Wake up Call for Small Business Owners” and a reputation management crisis was born.
When Andy Warhol said, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” he probably wasn’t talking about the way in which everyone, since the advent of search engines, has become a public figure to varying degrees. Much like the experience of pre-search engine public figures in traditional media, fame on Google can have its ups and downs too. The problem now is that, while everyone still has their shot at fame, there is now a risk of public infamy as well.
The First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech, is one of the foundations on which this country was built. It is also the reason you should start and online reputation management initiative for your business as soon as possible. As more online businesses realize every day, sometimes to their dismay, nowhere is the First Amendment on display more than on the internet.
Even enterprises with millions of loyal followers can run into a reputation management issues if a problem hangs around long enough. In the case of the National Football League, that untended problem was the extended lockout of referees, which came to a head on the league’s weekly showcase game, Monday Night Football.
The initial reaction to a complaint or a negative review targeting your business can make the difference between a situation that gets handled quickly and one that necessitates the reputation management cavalry to ride to the rescue. While negative content pointed at a business can easily be taken as a personal affront, responding in a defensive manner is a sure way to put yourself in a position that requires a lot more time and energy than would otherwise be spent to get to a point of resolution.