Your reputation and that of your business took a long time to establish: the product of much hard work. And yet it can be lost easily through one or more actions which result in adverse publicity.
Sometimes this can take the form of the media pack descending on your home or office and doorstepping you, at other times this could be as simple as dealing with an online troll who is posting content which is damaging your reputation.
Being proactive requires monitoring your online public reputation on a regular basis, and not just when you discover a specific problem. Because adverse online content can impact upon perceptions of competence and trust, affecting business and sales as well as key relationships and personal wellbeing, we can help shape the online footprint of a person or organisation by influencing what appears about them in a Google search.
We make sure that when someone googles your name, everything about you that is complimentary comes up first so that your clients and potential clients looking at your Google search results understand that you are a thought leader in your area of expertise. By creating positive content, we push any negative content off the front pages of search engines.
Following the European Court of Justice decision that people have a “right to be forgotten”, we can also apply to Google on your behalf. This allows you to have links to articles about you expunged so that Google has to delete “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” links. We are experienced in making successful applications under the right to be forgotten legislation.
Effective reputation management calls for judgment in how to respond to negative online comment – whether to react, and if so, when. Sometimes a reaction is unnecessary; at other times, a delayed reaction can prove very costly. We can put good news stories out there about you, and get them published, to counteract negative stories. This pushes the bad news off the top search results on page 1 of a Google search, after which there is a big cliff edge, as those who click on subsequent search result pages drop off dramatically.
Today media content lives forever online, and most referrals lead to a Google search. As a result, clients come to us with specific reputational problems. We provide reputation management services that go well beyond media and social media monitoring.
Most crises are unplanned and unexpected: no-one sees them coming. Sometimes, a crisis may be anticipated, but cannot be averted.
In either eventuality, we are here to help our clients manage the situation effectively by dealing with the potential media impact and by taking control of the external and internal messages that you or your business communicates.
From our experience, we know that delivering the right response at the right time is critical for the integrity of an organisation, its reputation and how it is perceived.
Well-executed crisis management is often critical. For example, if a High Court judgment is about to be handed down which will affect our client, we may need to draft a carefully worded statement in advance outlining a specific response to cover every relevant point.
At other times, it may be best to wait and to make no immediate response. According to the circumstances, careful consideration needs to be given to the available options.
We generally encourage our clients to engage with the media and to make the most of positive opportunities. We also recognise that the prospect of media training can be as worrying as the interview itself.
Working with you, our role is to eliminate the fear and make you feel entirely comfortable with being in front a camera or microphone in delivering the right message.
For TV and radio interviews, we advise on the best way to present yourself. This goes well beyond sitting still and dressing appropriately. We focus on content and practise different scenarios: live, pre-recorded, or part of a package, as well as interview positioning, where there might be somebody presenting a contrary view, e.g. Newsnight or BBCR4’s Today programme.
By preparing you to feel relaxed and confident in any interview situation, we can enable you to demonstrate your expertise and depth of understanding to best advantage.
We do this by meeting with you, taking you through the interview process and undertaking role play. For best results, we recommend that this is done one-on-one, although if there are time constraints, it can also be done in small groups.
Getting your message across
The critical challenge is to get your message across in straightforward language while presenting your argument cogently, using the right tone. Often you will have only a few seconds to answer a question, we can help you avoid deviation, repetition or hesitation by formulating your argument in a few incisive sentences. Where time allows for longer interviews, it is always good to tell a story and to illustrate your point with images or descriptive narrative.
Opportunistic interviews sometimes arise where the interviewee has not been trained. At short notice, we can visit your office and run through with you exactly what you want to say and how best to say it. If an immediate response is required, we can also travel with you to TV studios and advise en route. Whatever the format, we will ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for every eventuality.
Being a good interviewee
Press interviews are usually longer and require additional considerations. Your comments will appear in print and online. We will ensure that you are very clear about what messages you want to get across. We suggest that you focus on three points you want to make and convey them clearly and succinctly. The legacy is more permanent: the digital footprint of your quotes will be read by people who matter over time.
Being a good interviewee is a skill, one that comes naturally to some, but can be enhanced for most with some training. From our experience, we know that the best interviewees are good listeners. They listen carefully to questions and tailor their response accordingly. We also believe that a good interview is a conversation, where you look, feel and sound comfortable. It’s our job to make that happen.