Table of Contents
Why CEO Reputation Management Is Important
In today’s media driven environment, with most business leaders totally exposed and under constant public scrutiny, CEO reputation management is more important than ever before. Long gone are the days when a leader’s image was solely impacting the company’s reputation. Nowadays, the executive’s reputation affects nearly every aspect of a business from internal management to customer trust and loyalty, investor assurance, and much more.
And since according to research, executives in the US have a reputation problem, companies need not only to do the right thing, they need to differentiate themselves from their industry peers if they are to stand out from the crowd when a reputational crisis hits. In today’s environment, survival of the fittest requires a deep understanding of the fact that by looking after how the CEO is perceived, companies big and small can help reduce business risk, solidify market position, and build strategic partnerships.
How Bad CEO Reputation Management Can Destroy A Business
It’s not much of a surprise to anyone that a negative CEO reputation management is bad for any business. But the actual costs of what a negative online reputation can cause a company are rarely calculated. While many online review platforms have been often accused of fraud and manipulation, consumers continue to put an enormous amount of faith in them.
According to a 2020 Bright Local survey,
• 93% of people have used the internet when searching for a business in the last year
• 87% of people read online reviews for businesses in 2020, a 6% growth from the 81% in 2019
• Less than 50% of consumers would consider using a business with fewer than 4 stars
Of course, these stats are not entirely related to the CEO’ s reputation but in many cases, bad personal management and lack of attention to professional exposure end up being the main culprits.
As a company gains more notoriety, so does its CEO. Being the one that handles most of the media interviews and company updates, CEOs are highly visible targets for people who want to harm a company’s image. A negative CEO image can cause a business to lose 80% of its sales and pay an extra 20% in salaries.
Waiting until the damage has been done increases both the time and cost of recovery. That’s why, working with proactive reputation management consultants that are handling the publication and media strategy is important for two main reasons: first, a targeted CEO reputation management can make your company more noticeable and successful, while also controlling how your audience perceives it. Second, it can help prevent most attacks before they even get to happen.
The main problem is that a bad personal brand will affect far more than just sales, or new business opportunities. Negative press and bad online reputation can have serious effects across the entire company, while also impacting hirings, and leading to an employee retention crisis. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 71% of U.S. most workers would not apply to a company that deals with negative publicity, with women being even less likely to interview with a company pictured negatively in the press. The same survey also revealed that:
• 26 percent of employers felt a hit to their hiring process when their company has experienced negative publicity
• 61% of these employers combined report fewer job offers being accepted
• There were fewer candidate referrals from employees and fewer job applications
• Lower employee morale
• Higher voluntary employee turnover
• A decline in sales.
Common Attacks That CEO Reputation Management Consultants Can Help Prevent
Did you know that your business’s reputation can be damaged without you even knowing? Indeed it can. And unless you are constantly searching for both yours, and your company’s name throughout the main search platforms such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, you cannot really know what customers and leads might find.
Online reputation attacks are acts of malicious intent, wherein an attacker actively seeks to cause damage to another individual, business, or entity by creating unfavorable content and making it visible to the public, with malicious intent. Without a solid CEO management and the help of experienced reputation consultants, the economic damage from the sudden emergence of reputation risk can be as great as the damage from a sudden tornado. Other than destructive, these attacks are also completely unpredictable since attackers can be anyone from journalists, bloggers, to customers or competitor businesses.
Most common reputation attacks include:
• Bad reviews (whether from former employees, angry customers, or unscrupulous competitors)
• Unfavourable articles
• Negative media reports
• Critical social media comments
• Mass creation of pseudonymous entities
Whether negative reviews, comments and testimonies are actually legitimate or purely fabricated, many customers and investors might not be able to discern the difference. Loyal customers can usually overlook a few stumbles, but repeated online criticism or one wrong statement can cause a viral chain reaction of negative press that will drive customers and potential business partners away, damage corporate reputation and severely impact revenue.
Proven Online Reputation Management Tactics For CEOs
At Net Reputation we believe that CEO reputation management shouldn’t be taken lightly. Being invisible online, or worse, having a negative reputation can limit any entrepreneur’s ability to attract investment, which can put the future of any company at risk. To help CEOs embrace their public persona and build a positive reputation and a strong online presence, our reputation management consultants will usually apply the following five proven tactics:
1. We Help Control Your Online Narrative
The first step in any CEO reputation management we perform is to search for your first and last name and take the pulse of your online presence. There is no excuse for not knowing when your name or brand is mentioned anywhere on the web. And since talking about you will not just occur on your company’s website or your social media pages, in our process we won’t rely solely on checking the first pages of Google. We’ll also search throughout the main review sites, blogs, or forums. Searching for your full name online is one thing, but it’s worth considering also for variations like nicknames or usernames. While it’s unlikely that usernames will link back to your main profiles, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. We Identify Main Risks And Opportunities
Once we have a better sense of what your online profile presence looks like, we’ll map out the main risks and opportunities. Reputation repair should be thought of as a tactical mission to swiftly control or eliminate negative content online. And while many CEOs are familiar with enterprise risk management which aims to minimize the cost of strategic risk, when it comes to reputation management things are a bit different. Occasionally, the attempts to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely. That’s why other than identifying existing and potential risks, we try to pursue solutions without a thorough investigation of unforeseen outcomes.
3. We Help You Optimize Your Existing Content
The best way to really own your search landscape, is by optimizing your existing content to target the correct keyword groups from the parts of the world that interest you. Then, you’ll need to earn plenty of backlinks to make sure your customers and shareholders discover the positive content that tells your story. Although one of the most time consuming parts of CEO reputation management, quality content is vital to all entrepreneurs wishing to develop their brand and make a name for themselves. Unique and well optimized content sets you apart from your rivals and makes customers choose you.
Other than helping you with content, we also show you how to incorporate keywords. Keywords are the words or phrases that potential customers might input into a search engine when they’re looking for a solution to their problem.
4. We Help Coordinate Your Social Media Presence
Many CEOs don’t see the value in crafting an online reputation on social media. But for an effective reputation management strategy, you need to go beyond seeing social media platforms just as a time-wasting distraction, or an intrusion into your private life. Being active on the main social channels is one of the most effective things you can do to generate goodwill towards you and your company, and to steer the online conversation about your name in the right direction. By connecting you with thousands and even millions of users, social media allows you to promote for free the good things that you and your company are doing and as a result, boost both your personal image and your brand’s reputation.
5. We Suppress Unfavorable Search Results And Articles
While deleting all negative news and articles about you is almost impossible, especially if that content is featured by a major publisher, we can still get rid of many of them through suppression and tactical SEO. As a study conducted by Moz found, 93% percent of users don’t browse past the first page of Google search results. That means that if negative content about you is pushed off the first two three result pages, most searchers will never get to see it.
Net Reputation’s Reputation Management For CEOs
As you can see, CEO reputation management can improve your company’s success, value, and income. These five tips we discussed above are the most important tactics for good reputation management, and when implemented well, have the potential to turn you into your company’s greatest asset. What you should be aware of though is sometimes it will be hard to do everything by yourself or even with you in house marketing team. And here’s where we can help!
Knowing quite well that an ideal reputation for you and your brand won’t happen overnight, Net Reputation’s management consultants will work by your side day and night to turn you into the CEO you have always envisioned yourself to be.
And now that you saw why reputation management is so important for CEOs, you might be interested in more detailed information about what other online reputation management services we can offer you. To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us or check the following articles: