A company has a product. Employees sell that product. Companies, big companies such as Starbucks and Dominoes Pizza, have been called upon to defend themselves and to save the reputation of their brand, their services and their products, and their own moral fiber, because once something happens, it happens forever. This is becoming more of the case norm, as widespread media is not contained to the newspapers nor the nightly news anymore, but it is in the hands of the public. A public who may go online and post reviews, articles, and blogs, which reach millions through their computers each and everyday.
When a company deals with the public, one aspect that they may face is that all of the people may not be pleased all of the time. And also what stands true, is that mistakes may be made. This is what happened with the Toyota car company. Currently, a large number of Toyotas are being recalled and reevaluated for safety issues. The Toyota company conducted the massive recall of their vehicles, when it was discovered that the gas pedal sticks, causing great concern not only to the owners of the vehicles, but the company itself. U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, stated last week, that the company was pressured by the U.S. Government to recall those vehicles, and now the Toyota company has stepped up to take full and complete responsibility for the safety of their customers. Which they should do of course.
The Toyota company would have done well to look after their own online reputation management, monitoring today’s platforms for modern media dissemination of information. To do this a company should keep track of the happenings on such popular social sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Even a company without the popularity that Toyota has, will benefit from the diligence taken to ensure that their brands and products are not receiving this negative mass press. Online reputation management involves protecting one’s brand and protecting one’s own reputation. When companies find that they have neither the time nor the skill to do just that, is it time to hire specialists in the field of online reputation management. The services that are offered will not only protect one’s company today, but far into the future as well.