The increased usage of technology and growth of Social Media has really changed the landscape for the Reputation Manager. Reputation Managers now have to place more importance on E- Reputation or so-called Digital or Online Reputation Management.
What is E- reputation? If we merge the definition of Public Relations with the rise in new technologies, then we can define Public Relations as the management, through (Electronic) communication, of perceptions and strategic relationships between an organisation and its internal and external stakeholders. (Although reputation is far more holistic than PR – let us stick with this)
No longer are knowledge of just e-mail and internet search and the use of Microsoft products minimum requirements. Now days a competent Reputation Manager needs to know not only the above, but also how to protect his or her organisation from cyber risks and electronic onslaughts to damage their reputation.
This onslaught can take many forms. They range from copyright issues to viruses to wrongful statements on Twitter. Somewhere an employee can be traced accessing pornography or somewhere else an employee can make a genuine mistake and attach a sensitive file to the wrong e-mail creating unwanted publicity. Or even worse, your own child can be held responsible for downloading music from the Net!
The rising use of Social Media and technologies obviously raises a challenge for the Reputation Manager. At the same time the Reputation Manager has to find ways to use technology to maximise the Reputation of the organisation.
This means going on a steep learning curve. It means learning about new technologies such as Snapchat and other Social Networks, augmented reality, latest SEO techniques, mobile web site design, and the impact this has on reputation(and vice versa).
For instance I don’t have “expert” web design and html skills, but having an understanding of the medium and knowing the terminology/basics has been critical for my job. Also adapting my reputation judgment to the type of media and expediency of the delivery is important.
Reputation Managers will need to learn the importance of digital liaison and community groups, they will need to learn how to write for these new types of media and how to use these technologies to engage their stakeholders..
They will also need to understand the risks that these new technologies bring to the table. For instance how do you control* the flow of messages and content, since the Internet allows communication in many new ways such as using Slack or WeChat to name just a few. Reputation managers should be prepared to understand how these tools work, how to maximize their success with them, and what the limitations are of each.
Really good search skills will be needed so they can easily acquire information, skills needed to monitor online news and information and discussions as close to real time as possible.
Footnote; I am currently upgrading my own skills and doing a Social Media Marketing Certification course through the Silicon Valley Social Media Marketing Institute. There is also certification courses available through Hootsuite and the Hubspot, one of my preferred sources of social media information.
Here is a link to a good resource Google Reputation Recovery Repair Kit in one simple infographic https://reputationrefinery.com/google-reputation-repair-kit