The Most Important Thing: [Online] Reputation?

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We’ve all been told that your reputation is the most important thing you have. But for a company, what about their online reputation? It can certainly have a huge impact on how publics perceive an organization, and can often impact that company’s bottom line depending on the industry.

But with good PR, managing an online reputation helps ease the impact of negative online publicity. Thanks to this article from PR News Online, “How to Wrangle Your Reputation Online,” we can gather a few important tips on how to handle this.

Let’s discuss their three main points.

1) Checking the brand online daily. In order to effectively manage an online reputation, the organization has to be completely tuned in to what people are saying, who’s saying it and why. A once a month glance at the Twitter feed won’t cut it. Tools like site rankings and SEO tactics can help keep the organization’s website at the top of the list for users online, ensuring that more of the information publics are receiving about the organization is coming straight from the horse’s mouth and less from secondary sites. It’s also a good idea to see what is coming up when users search the company or related specifics via search engine. It’s good know what information they’re getting and how easily they’re getting it. Even monitoring more general keywords related to the company or its industry can be helpful.

2) Manage customer reviews. It’s important to take note of what people are saying in customer reviews. Especially the negative ones, but rather than ignore them, the best tactic is to respond, and do so quickly. A lot can be said for a company that actually works with complainants instead of shutting them out. Also, use of SEO techniques can ensure that the positive reviews and comments rank higher than the negatives. That way, people searching for the organization don’t get negativity as their first impression.

Last but not least…

3) Maintain social media sites. This is absolutely vital to managing an organization’s online reputation! Any company that has a Twitter, Facebook, etc. but doesn’t use it, or doesn’t use it enough, gives the impression that they know they need to connect with publics online, but they just don’t care enough to put the time necessary into it. The last a good PR person wants to do is make their publics feel like they don’t actually care. Good social media activity includes daily posts, as well as responses to posts made by publics. This not only gives publics an opportunity to communicate with you, but it also shows others that you’re willing and eager to communication with them.

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5 Things to Know About Nonprofit PR

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When it comes to nonprofit PR, there are so many different things to be covered. So rather than try writing a novel, I’ll boil it down to five of the most important aspects of nonprofit PR, taking those I find most useful from this list of 10 in the Worcester Business Journal. (These are listed in no particular order.)

1) Media Ties For nonprofits, having a good connection with the media is absolutely vital, especially with the obstacle of distrust of nonprofit organizations in the marketplace. A good relationship with varied media outlets and pitching good, interesting and news worthy stories to them will garner good coverage to improve the nonprofit’s position in the minds of their publics. Nonprofit successes, fundraisers that have a visual story or a great achievement always make for a good news story, so pitch those events creatively to the local media.

2) Heart Strings This is one of the aspects of nonprofits that can set one apart from the crowd. People respond very positively to emotional appeals. Anyone ever seen the ASPCA commercials? You know what I’m talking about. Showing personal accounts of those who have benefited from the organization will help to show¬† publics why the work has value. This is where the nonprofit can begin to connect more deeply with publics and get them involved, whether it be through donation, volunteering, or other ways of support.

3) Proofread Now, the article only discusses this briefly in relation to press releases, but this is of the utmost importance for all documents put out by a nonprofit. Anything that looks half done, has typos and errors, or appears to be something that anyone could create on their own computer is going to send a message that the group is amateur, doesn’t have any money (and is therefore bad at fundraising and communicating the message) and isn’t worth anyone’s time or money. Who really wants to support an orgnaizatoin that cant splel anthing corectlly? It comes off as not only poorly done, but lazy, and that’s the last thing an organization wants to be seen as when trying to garner support.

4) Multimedia There’s nothing that looks more professional than simple, but well-edited multimedia content. When it comes to an organization’s website, Facebook and other social media outlets, videos and photos should be included as often as possible to show, not just tell, the publics what the organization does. While putting together good multimedia may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t take more than a decent video camera (a Flip or iPhone would work), a simple editing software (like iMovie or Windows Moviemaker) and a little bit of finesse to create something informative and emotional to reach an organization’s publics.

5) Get Linked In organizations like nonprofits, publics want more than anything to feel a relationship to the organization, and therefore an association with the good the group is doing. By connecting to people through Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media, an organization can help foster that relationship and improve the group’s retention rate of supporters, donors and volunteers.

How PR Research Can Work For You and Your Clients

According to this article by members of the Commission on Public Relations Measurement & Evaluation, using research as a valuable piece of every public relations effort can do many things for your organization or your client.

I have a hard time thinking of ways to use PR research outside of pre-campaign planning, but thanks to this article I can see some great ways to use research in different areas of PR, from decision-making to organizational support!

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First, research can help you determine what current tactics are working or not working. Before changing or ending a public relations campaign, it’s a good idea to find out what it’s strengths and weaknesses are. That way, you know whether you need to correct some areas of the current campaign or throw it out completely to start fresh.

Research can also be a great tool to help you win support for your strategy. If you’ve done enough research to know how you need to move forward with a communication strategy, it’s a good idea to let others know about it. You’re more likely to win over a strong dissenting voice with data rather than rhetorical persuasion.

A great way to show your organization the value of PR is to show its impact on sales. To do this, you must research sales and what affects them before and after implementation of your PR campaign. Find out how high sales are and why. Use that information to determine how you can impact sales through PR efforts. Then, see if your tactics caused any change in sales numbers. Pass the information along to management to easily show how PR contributes to the bottom line.

Researching how your organization is positioned in the minds of your publics in relation to competitors will give you a good idea of how to use PR efforts to improve on weak areas and reinforce the strong ones.