Frontiers of Business – Reputation Management in the New Media

This post from the Harvard Business School blogs reminded me of the problems that business can get into interacting with the ‘New Media’ of blogs, forums and internet discussion. I’m a regular reader of the Consumerist, my featured link today. This blog has emerged as one of the top consumer affairs blogs and has attracted increasing media attention. You may remember the storm of media attention surrounding the Comcast technician videotaped sleeping in a customers house, the story broke on the Consumerist.

The first time your company interacts with this world it may appear chaotic, unprofessional and foreign. Threats  and legal action will rarely work in this world, and will likely bring more negative attention to your company. Every company will need to discuss and create contingency plans for the varieties of these emergencies.

Some general principles

  • Be honest, your company reputation can be significantly harmed by a lie
  • Negotiate with this customer in good faith
  • Communicate your side of the story with the website publishing the accusations
  • A crisis management officer empowered to monitor and address these concerns can reduce the stress level of the entire board

Reputation management software and services are available however for smaller corporations simply monitoring some RSS feeds can provide enough of a early warning system. Look for how to manage RSS feeds in my next post.

The Consumerist 

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