When you think of reputation management, you might think of specialists to call when you have a serious problem — an executive caught doing something wrong, a product that has to be recalled for safety reasons, or public outcry about work conditions. But the vast majority of reputation management isn’t about covering up the misdeeds of movie-villain corporations.
Good reputation management is something you want on your side from day one, helping you build a stronger, more resilient relationship with your customers. Consider these seven benefits to keeping a modern team of reputation specialists on your side:
- Strong relationships breed stronger businesses
Every powerful marketing campaign relies upon a single concept: developing stronger relationships with customers bolsters sales. Public relations experience gives a team the knowledge necessary to help you develop approaches which will do exactly that: content marketing, social campaigns, user-friendly web-design – all the factors that add up to ‘how customers perceive your organization’. And when customers love your business, they stick with it, even when the competition has a sale, or a new edition with one extra feature, or a more convenient website.
- It’s easier to roll with punches than recover from them later
Every company has hiccups eventually. After all, corporations are made up of people, and the more attention and success your company collects, the more likely one of the inevitable mistakes made by those people will get public attention — and demand a reputation management response. The thing is, building the apparatus to control public opinion after the fact is far, far more difficult than using an existing, pre-built system of outreach and publicity to shape the story as it unfolds. Get in front of stories, instead of trying to catch up to them.
- Branding enhances all other marketing efforts
The efficiency of any marketing campaign relies upon a multitude of factors — and good branding, courtesy of a reputation management firm, assists with many of those. When you build a strong enough brand, with a good enough public perception, you don’t need to do anything with your marketing but remind the public you exist. Every single marketing expenditure will produce a superior ROI when paired with a winning reputation.
- Allow for holistic business planning towards goals
Does your business contradict its own image with poorly planned projects, tactics meant to cut costs, and the like? By having a close relationship with a firm comfortable with the ins and outs of public perception, you can get assistance with spotting the counterproductive aspects of your business – projects which may be profitable in the short term, but harm or muddy your brand in the long term.
- Avoid missteps with marketing or sales
It’s very easy for a small team of marketing experts to develop content in a vacuum, and completely fail to recognize the way that content might come across wrong and harm the company. Being able to run your work past a team familiar with the nuances of reputation management will make it much easier to avoid these missteps (and correct for them if they slip through).
- Unify marketing, sales, and branding tactics and strategies
Is everyone from your company ‘on message’? If not, they should be — and having a team familiar with reputation control threaded through marketing, web design, SEO, social media, and every other part of your company can help make sure that happens. When you unify your brand, and present it on all fronts, it sticks in prospects’ and customers’ minds — and that, in turn, improves your bottom line.
- Excellent insight into new opportunities
There’s a reason every reputation management firm worth its salt knows the ins and outs of SEO, content marketing, and modern web design — because to control a reputation properly demands attention to every hot new thing, and every place to be heard or hear something interesting. By leveraging the services of a firm familiar with modern reputation management, you can be certain that new opportunities aren’t slipping through the cracks. You might discover new marketing mediums, new markets, and new ways to research customers and segment markets. And you’ll be certain to do it right, in a way that won’t harm your brand.
These aren’t the only reasons to keep a team well-versed in public relations at hand, but they should be enough to make it clear: PR is important to any business, in any industry, at any point in its lifespan. Whether you’re looking to spread an already-incredible reputation, rehabilitate a bad one, or simply keep your existing strategies working smoothly together, reputation management has a role to play in your business.