Why are writings about online reputation always so negative ?
The point which focused my attention was on the Top Ten Risk in 2014. Reputation and brand jumped on the second position.
Facing this, my feelings are mixed. I am quite glad to see that reputation is now taken seriously by professionals. Back in 2009, when it all started, Company used to say that they did not care about what was being said on them on Internet. They were still on a « top/down » communication model, believing that Web users will listen to what was being said to them on institutional communication. Now, they know that it is not the case, and that the Web talk can strengthen or weaken their brand image. Besides that, I explain all the students and professional I teach that, in Strategic Intelligence, everything is linked. This report is the perfect example that a link exists between online reputation and risk management. It also show the influence of communities in their Knowledge Management efforts.
But still, I remain annoyed when I read that online reputation is primarily considered as a threat. This means that it needs to be controlled, instead of being managed. And everything controlled ends up sooner or later by escaping the control.
And online reputation is not only a threat. It is also the opportunity to gather a community around a brand, a Company or its staff. First of all, it is a powerful marketing, communication and influence tool, which makes the sales of the product easier. Beyond that, this community is the first line of defense in case a « bad buzz » appears.
For this reason, I consider Online Reputation is not only a threat, although I agree it can be, but an oportunity as well. This is one thing I always remind on my lectures.