5 Ways to Fix a Tarnished Online Reputation

Original Post: From Alexandra Levit's

United Airlines recently released a statement in response to the YouTube video sensation by a disgruntled flyer who had his guitars broken on a recent flight.  However, it was too little, too late, as more than 3 million people had already watched the video.  If you're the owner of a small business or if part of your job is to look after your organization's reputation, you need to know what to do to avoid being in a pickle like United.  Here are five ideas from Larry Weber, the founder of communications firms Weber Shandwick/W2 Group and the author of Sticks and Stones:
  • Listen and respond to online conversations before an issue reaches critical mass and damages your reputation.  The best protection against negative comments and gripes is to build a positive reputation ahead of time. 
  • In the event of a crisis, you or your leader must take responsibility in order to recover corporate reputation.
  • Explain your solution to the crisis/issue and then carry the solution into action. 
  • Set up specific online destinations to solicit negative comments and deal with them separately.  Bank of America set up a Twitter rep to deal with customer complaints.
  • To change how you appear on the Internet, push down the relevance of negative results and give the search engines positive new content.