Whether you’re a doctor trying to protect your practice from negative reviews, a parent trying to keep your children safe online, or a job hunter trying to make a good impression with hiring managers, protecting your online reputation is essential. For many, this means turning to an expert consultant for online reputation management (ORM) services.
However, not all ORM firms are created equal. As the need for ORM services has increased, so has the number of unethical companies that are more interested in emptying their clients’ pockets than they are in helping them.
Read on to learn more about ORM companies, including why you might need one, what they do, some of the important things to look for when choosing one, and how to avoid services that don’t work.
Why would I need an ORM company?
Unfortunately, there are many ways people can trash your reputation online. Former business partners, ex-lovers, estranged family members, disgruntled employees, and even total strangers can create reputation problems for you and your business in a myriad of ways. They could post slander about you on a gossip website, defame you in a Facebook comment, even run an entire smear campaign against your good name or rally people who are unfamiliar with the situation to shame and harass you in the belief that you’re somehow the bad guy. Thus, having an ORM company protecting you is a necessary part of doing business on the Internet.
Compounding the problem is the fact that our past mistakes never go away online. Many of us do foolish things when we are young. Unfortunately, the Internet has a way of bringing those past mistakes back for everyone to see—often when it’s most inconvenient, like when you’re applying to college or trying to get a job.
If you run a business, sometimes you encounter a problem that you just can’t shake, although you’ve taken steps to do so. Even the biggest and most well-managed companies will make a mistake at some point; just ask Coca-Cola’s marketing team how sick they are of hearing jokes about New Coke. An ORM company can help fix marketing missteps and public relations problems that would take far, far longer to go away on their own.