Friday, January 30, 2015
Your reputation - how you're perceived by others - is bound up in a host of factors, the most important of which your clients or customers are observing when they interact with you, or when they interact with people who have had dealings with you.
And in this Internet age, even millions who have never dealt with you can form an opinion of you based on what OTHERS who have never heard of you are saying!
So it's more important than ever to take control of your reputation and mold it in a favorable way, because uninformed people and forces well beyond your control will take hold of it if you don't. An like a boat that's left un-moored at the dock, it will be drawn out by the tides and tossed with the winds whichever way they choose.
What factors will help "tie down" your reputation so these capricious winds can't get hold of it?
1. First to consider is the quality of your service or product. No amount of PR can paper over a consistently horrible product. The job of PR isn't to make a bad thing look great, because people can easily see through a snow job. And that snow job boomerangs back onto you rather quickly. But a great product, well conceived, unique and useful to customers, speaks for itself. The core of a good reputation is something of good repute to give to the world.
2. Similar to the first, the second point is to ensure that the way in which you deliver products or services is professional. It's not enough to have a great product or service. If you deliver it without passion, care and true professionalism, it will still be seen as a "negative." Having great food will bring them back to the restaurant. Once or twice. But a rude wait staff will cause them to forgo the experience again, and lead to bad-mouthing online.
3. How you treat your clients and customers is the third point that can make or break your reputation. Not only will an overworked and under-appreciated staff be less productive, they'll fall down on points 1 and 2 - the quality of the product and the professionalism of how it's delivered to the customer or client. You'll also experience heavier turnover of staff, and dozens or thousands of unhappy former employees again will not bode well for your company's reputation.
4. The final point of reputation is how the public perceives the good you do in the community. Good works is a plus and definitely has value in Public Relations and reputation-building efforts. In fact, it's seen by many as the key tool in the tool bag of Public Relations. While it can be over-used and its value overstated, good works done in the community is counted as a positive and helps "move the needle" towards a good reputation. However, as noted in 1 above, no amount of good deeds (charity and other things that are unrelated to your business model) can paper over a horrible product, poorly delivered, by unhappy or disgruntled employees. And doing charity work as a way to paper over some bad press is transparent, and is easily seen for the fraudulent effort it is.
All of these keys to a good reputation work together to create a positive reputation among your "publics." This includes your current customers, your past customers, your future customers, your employees, local and regional news media, these publics and others online, and those these various groups happen to encounter second- and third-hand.
A professional Public Relations person who is skilled in how to build a positive image for you and your business can reach out to these groups, tailoring just the right messages for each.
Let Abbott Media Group's PR division help you present these to publics that need to hear more about what you're doing!