Let’s talk about IMAGE AND REPUTATION MANAGEMENT STRATEGY (part 1)

So, what are the differences between Image and Reputation?

Do the concepts of ‘image’ and ‘reputation’ really differ when it comes to determining a company’s market position?

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While these two models of structuring may occupy the same information space — namely, the Internet — and use similar mechanisms for creating pragmatic texts — it’s really where their similarity ends. Therefore it’s time to talk about their differences.

To understand how image and reputation differ, it’s necessary to identify their key definitions.

The image is what is perceived about the company or organisation, while reputation is the assessment or opinion about it, usually held by others.

Formed in the minds of consumers, image is so important. The difficulty is that it’s a subjective concept. Image is formed during and after any relationship the company has with the public and, importantly, its customers.

It can get a mention online in a specific context, and if there is a positive opinion about the company, it will help attract new clients and partners. If it’s not, well, the opposite happens…

Reputation is the rating of a company by who might be termed ‘the average online users.’ In the spotlight is the name of the company or organisation, how reliable it is in function, the quality of services or goods provided, and so on.

In fact, just about everything that has come together in an information sense over many years of public experience of it. Therefore automatically, you can see how subjective that is.

It unites all these bits of information into a single idea of what that company or organisation is about — in its broadest sense, of course.

The long-term experience of agencies in the image and reputation management field has shown that, due to the analysis and control of the company’s activities, as well as the constant monitoring of opinions and mentions about it on the network, it’s possible to manage both reputation and image in tandem successfully.

Let me explain why Online Reputation and Image Management is so Important…

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Since the creation of the World Wide Web, public opinion and comment about individuals and the entities they represent has soared. It’s strengthening its influence every day, even as you read this — therefore, these information structures are developing all the time.

Each brand or company creates its own online image and business reputation. Customers, partners, and the public form an image of the company based on the measures it takes to maintain its good semblance. Having achieved success in this, the company will be able to solve any problem and, in turn, the advertising campaigns of such organisations will be perceived much more favourably.

Based on this, a company’s presence in the public network is a very important factor in its healthy development. In today’s technology-driven society, the Internet has become the main source of information about enterprises’ activities, their products and services. Before deciding whether to use a particular company’s services or goods, the consumer will be checking out as much information about it as possible online.

First of all, he or she will be paying attention to the assessments and responses of those who have already had dealings with this company. They’ll be scrutinising its website, its ease of access, whether there are discounts, value promotions, or loyalty bonuses to be had, and so on.

Good Brand Reputation — it’s an important one…

Thanks to a good reputation, a brand will become more and more recognisable and trusted. This, in turn, will attract more potential customers and other parties who will be interested in it. In addition, a positive reputation will attract new employees keen to work for such a reputable enterprise, which will subsequently improve overall performance.

So, like a magnet, if a company is generating a positive information field, this will contribute to business development. If it’s negative, then, it will start repelling potential clients, which will inevitably lead to financial losses and a depressed customer base.

The mission is an ongoing one. Just because you’re up in the ratings, it’s no good becoming complacent. It would be a very wrong move to sit back as work stops on image and reputation enhancement on the Internet if the company is doing well, successfully and quickly developing, and with a positive opinion out in consumer land.

It could all change in an instant — ill-wishers or jealous competitors launching negative misinformation attacks, which could do a lot of damage in a very short time. Publications and responses with adverse content about the company’s brand and top officials may suddenly appear — and you have to be ready for them. The battlefield could be in a number of locations — news and article websites, forums, social networks, blogs. There are simply dangers on every front.

With proper image and reputation management, a company can be secure online. Experts such as those at ADVES will help in the fight against smear campaigns — but only if you allow us to respond to it in a timely and effective manner.

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