How to use Public Relations to manage reputation

Digitization has given unprecedented access for the public to engage in communications, be connected and engage in conversations. It has opened doors to not only engage in fruitful conversations, but also conversations that surface rumors and negative sentiment towards corporates and businesses. This in fact directly affects the reputation of businesses and leaders are well aware of that.

Social media is the epicenter where most of these rumors and fabricated stories burst out with the potential to go viral. Hence reputation management has become a big necessity for leaders at present. Let’s explore how leaders can utilize Public Relations in their efforts towards reputation management.

Using a well-planned Social media policy

Social media has drastically changed the way people communicate and engage with the society. Social media is not just important for individuals, it is vital for businesses in their quest to reach target audiences. Now it has become imperative for businesses of all sizes to be active in Social media for advertising, online sales, promotional campaigns, etc. A well planned Social media plan can result in positive reviews, help in creating a positive image and attract more customers. Conversely, instant Social media campaigns driven by giving vent to emotions can backfire against businesses, leading to customers’ dissatisfaction. There are multiple Social media platforms that businesses can target: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, which is exclusive for the business fraternity. For each of these platforms, leaders can focus on different strategies. For example, they can use LinkedIn to highlight their company profile and be recognized in the corporate world.

Using strategic content

Now a days, most businesses tend to have a website of their own. Leaders can utilize such online platforms to share content that create a positive image about their company. Thought leadership is a popular article genre that could be shared strategically to manage reputation. Be it a company’s reputation or an individual’s reputation, thought leadership articles provide that space to iron out any negative sentiment, misconceptions and false views. Most importantly, they could be published not only in online websites, could also be used in LinkedIn and other Social media networks and also published in Print media, covering a broader audience.

To manage reputation during a crisis

Businesses can turn towards Public Relations to manage reputation during a crisis situation. As much as it is necessary to resolve the crisis, managing reputation is vital. Let’s not forget that PR has a lot to offer other than Press Release dissemination which have the capacity to turn things around for businesses during a crisis.

Using PR to bust myths and misconceptions

Myths and misconceptions regarding brands and businesses can affect the reputation. Leaders can focus on both traditional and new media aspects of PR as myth busters. Today’s’ new tech sparks important insights which leaders can capitalize on before reacting against misinformation. They can even monitor whether the stories surrounding their businesses are fake or real. For this, they would also need to be in close touch with all Print, Online and Social media which enables them to better understand current trends.

In addition to the above discussed initiatives, leaders can use one of the many PR tools to highlight their company goals and objectives and use it as an opportunity to dispel any negativity. It is also vital to maintain good rapport with media personnel by inviting them to events, functions and sending them occasional gifts, so that they would be tempted to speak for that particular company in a crisis through their own mediums and help in mitigating the negative impact.

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