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The convergence of rare disease, digital communications, and pharmaceutical marketing communications

Online Reputation Management Part 1 – Defending Your Brand

Posted by | 11:26am on Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If you aren't part of the online conversation, you are allowing critics to go unchallenged. 

Folded arms

Business is changing a lot due to the online channel. There is no doubt that your customers are empowered by blogs, Twitter, and other social media tools. There is also no doubt they are talking about your company.

Did you know that they were discussing your business? If not – if you don’t know where, how, and why they’re discussing your business – this four-part series of blog posts is essential reading.

In these posts, I will explain how neglecting online reputation management could hurt your business, how customer conversations online affects healthcare uniquely, suggest free and paid monitoring tools to help, and discuss your strategy for times when the online buzz is positive.

These topics are important for any marketer, brand manager, and business owner. Subscribing will ensure you don’t miss any of these topics (email and RSS subscriptions both available on homepage in upper-right).

Are You Neglecting Your Online Reputation?

I was catching up on my podcasts when I listened to the For Immediate Release show from September 8. On the show, Shel and Neville were discussing an especially astute blog post by Michael Hyatt of Thomas Nelson Publishers. In a post entitled Defending Your Brand Online, Michael lays out the implications of not monitoring your brand online.

He gives real-life examples of companies who lost thousands and thousands of dollars (that’s a conservative estimate) in a matter of hours due to a wave of criticism. If you are neglecting your online reputation, your brand is vulnerable to attack.

How To Defend Your Brand

Consider Michael’s seven suggestions for defending your brand online (read his full blog post for details).

  1. Build an online presence
  2. Monitor the conversation
  3. Respond quickly to criticism
  4. Admit your mistakes
  5. Understand the lifetime value of a customer
  6. Empower the employees to solve problems
  7. Exceed your customers’ expectations

These are great suggestions. If you aren’t part of the online conversation, you are allowing critics to go unchallenged. Sometimes these comments dissolve into the ether (especially when they’re false). However, there will be a great financial benefit if you can explain issues that arise or rebut uninformed claims made against your brand.

Tomorrow, I will outline why online brand defense is uniquely important in healthcare marketing. Later in the week, I will detail the current state of online brand reputation management and suggest free/paid tools to help. Finally, I will end this series with a discussion of what to do when your brand is not being attacked (consider it preventative defense).

What are you doing to monitor the online conversation or defend your brand? What is stopping you? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section below.

(Image courtesy of uk_arms via Flickr)

About Wendy White

Since founding Siren Interactive in 1999, Wendy has been recognized as a thought leader at the intersection of niche pharma brands, patient empowerment and online marketing. Her vision for how the internet can facilitate interactions and provide crucial information that patients, caregivers and their healthcare providers previously struggled to find has propelled Siren to the forefront of relationship marketing for rare disorder therapies.

View other posts from Wendy

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