Public relations consists of maintenance of a favourable relationship between an organization and it publics. The publics are groups of people within and outside an organization whose activities affect the organization. Reputation management is very essential in keeping and expanding public space filled with people who trust and patronize your company. Good reputation gives your company a name that attracts favour from its various publics and this is how many big companies have remained market leaders in today’s competitive business environment.
Big business organizations are able to sell whatever they want because people not only know about them, but also know them; they trust them and, hence, want to be identified with them. This is what a good reputation has helped them to achieve.
Building your company’s reputation can be achieved through several ways. You may use print media, online content and all other types of media publicity to disseminate information about your company and promote an image that people can trust and love. The primary aim of PR should be to make people see how passionate your company is about its goals.
The common assumption is that most businesses die within two to five years of starting due to lack of finance but this is not always the case: Jason Mudd says most often, these companies die because they could not succeed in convincing their prospective customers to take a chance on them. They could not make people want to know more about their companies; they could not convince them that theirs was a better product than most, if not the best. This is what good reputation does for your organization. This also underscores the pertinence of effective reputation management.
What is Reputation Management?
Reputation management refers to all efforts deliberately made by an organization to influence how and what people think about it and its brand. Beyond your actual character, what do people think about you? How do they see you? That is your reputation. You might actually be a good organization (or so you think) but if people think you’re not, then that is bad for business. When you use online and offline strategies to influence the way people see you positively, that is reputation management.How your brand is seen plays crucial role on your reputation among actual and potential customers.
So how can you achieve and manage good reputation that gives your company a good name which would rub off on its sales positively? This is what reputation management using Public Relations (PR) techniques talks about.
How to Build Reputation for Your Organization
Building good reputation for your business firm is no child’s play. Brand building thrives on good reputation which is a task every PR executive strives to achieve. Five simple but very powerful steps for building good reputation for an organization are presented here, as put forward by Jason Mudd;
1. Get Online Quickly
In today’s digital world very serious companies also have huge online presence. You should actually plan for your presence online even before you launch your business. Register yourself on all possible social media networks and have a dedicated team in place to update statuses about your company, events and products regularly and consistently. Your online reputation management strategies should be as good as the offline strategies.
2. Build on the Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
You have to show some humility about this; it has a way of rubbing off positively on you company’s image. Have your happy and satisfied customers recommend you to others, but don’t ask for recommendations; that may come across as needy and it may spook them. Offer discounts and deals for happy customers and for the friends they introduce to your company. This is a win-win situation for all.
3. Have Super-Quick and Efficient Customer Service In Place
Don’t keep people waiting when they experience challenges while attempting to patronize you. All disputes should be resolved within 24 hours. Be generous when a client is aggrieved, for this type of happy customer will bring in innumerable leads for future business. With every delighted customer, you are building a viral marketing campaign – at no cost to your company. Good relationship makes customers happy.
4. Project Yourself as an Expert
You need to let people know you have special expertise in the industry. If you offer a great product but your competitor comes across as the expert, people are more likely to buy from your competitor than from you because they feel they should trust the expert better. Choose your niche carefully. Once you do, learn all there is to know about it and let everyone know that you are the best in this particular niche.
5. Be Loud about Your Achievements
People should know what you’ve achieved in the past so they would trust you to perform the same feat or even surpass it. People are likely to come to you because for instance, you won the “Best Product (or Best Company) of the Year.” Broadcast every achievement and every milestone with great fanfare. Let everyone know that you are climbing the ladder of recognition and fame at national (and international) levels. Let them know you are unique in the industry with evidence in terms of achievements.
If you follow these steps strictly you’re definitely going to build impressive reputation for your organization. Specifically, PR tools you could use to build your business reputation are media relations, advertorials, social media platforms, newsletters, brochures and catalogues, business events, and speaking engagements. Good reputation is a premise upon which organizations thrive in a competitive environment. Today’s digital world makes it a bit easier for reaching target audiences with a view to achieving reputation management goals.