Reputation Management « Datadial Blog
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On the subject of Reputation Management

Matt

December 2nd, 2009.

Datadial Launch Their Reputation Monitoring Tool

overviewDatadial are pleased to announce the launch of their online reputation monitoring tool. Designed for business and agencies that wish to monitor the online profiles of their brand, products, key staff and competitors.

We have designed the user interface to be as intuitive as possible, with an emphasis on speed of use and productivity, while at the same time a feature-rich interface gives in-depth data about the source of mentions and enables you to tag, comment or share mentions for further action.

  • This service should be seen as part of any effective online marketing strategy.
  • You will be able to track and measure what is being said.
  • Armed with this information you will be able to see the effectiveness of your campaigns, gain customer insight, learn how your brand, products and services are being perceived and also join in the conversation and, if necessary, react to any adverse publicity.
  • The results will help you with planning for future campaigns, enabling fine-tuning and therefore saving you money.

At this point the software is still at a beta stage, so we are inviting as much user feedback and suggestions as possible on design and functionality. Signup to track one phrase is free, so please go here to signup for an account.

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Matt

February 25th, 2009.

Ryanair – Their Attitude To Online PR Part Of A Bigger Reputation Problem

A throwaway comment on a blog by a Ryanair staff member has led to an online storm that now threatens to spill over into the national press and potentially harm the already tarnished reputation of Ryanair even further.

It all started when a Dublin based web designer Jason Roe posted on his blog that he had found a potential bug on the Ryanair website which changed the displayed price of a ticket to €0.00 when he amended his flight times.

At this stage Ryanair had three options of how to deal with this,

  1. Post on Jasons blog thanking him for notifying them of the error, explaining the steps that they had taken to rectify the problem. Possibly even offering him a discount for bringing this to their attention may have turned this into a positive piece of PR.
  2. Fix the error and do nothing, solves the issue but not much else. The incident gets little attention and goes away.
  3. Post on Jasons blog anonymously insulting him and his website.

In the event they opted to go for #3.

jason!
you’re an idiot and a liar!! fact is!
you’ve opened one session then another and requested a page meant for a different session, you are so stupid you dont even know how you did it! you dont get a free flight, there is no dynamic data to render which is prob why you got 0.00. what self respecting developer uses a crappy CMS such as word press anyway AND puts they’re mobile ph number online, i suppose even a prank call is better than nothing on a lonely sat evening!!

Although this was done anonymously, the Ryanair staff member was easily identified through his IP address. At this point having their staff members abusing people online becomes far more of a news story than a bug on their website ever was, and starts to get coverage on the major social news sites popular with bloggers like Digg, Reddit and Twitter.

Although Ryanair are starting to look bad for not listening to their customers, an apology and explanation for the comments would probably have sufficed and the story would have died before it gained any more momentum.

Unbelievably Ryanair then released an official statement further insulting Jason and bloggers everywhere.

“Ryanair can confirm that a Ryanair staff member did engage in a blog discussion. It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy in corresponding with idiot bloggers and Ryanair can confirm that it won’t be happening again.

“Lunatic bloggers can have the blog sphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel”.

This is now becoming a major story threatening to blow up in the faces of Ryanairs communications department. As well as national press coverage of the story this morning in The Times and The Telegraph people are now threatening boycotts of the airline over their treatment of customers, dragging up old grievances, and has sparked a raft of blog comments and even protest sites.

What Can We Learn From This?

  1. It just goes to show how failing to deal with, or worse, dealing badly with negative online reputation can blow up in your face.
  2. It shows how closely online and offline PR strategies are linked and should be treated as such.
  3. The importance of having an online strategy that ALL staff are aware of and adhere to.
  4. The power of an apology – it can turn negative PR into positive very quickly.

Is This Part Of A Wider Failing At Ryanair?

Managing the reputation of a budget airline such as Ryanair can never be an easy task at the best of times. Uphappy customers and poor press all take their toll. However, performing a quick audit of their online reputation throws up several areas for urgent attention and improvement.

Their search results, that threaten to take a battering after the latest round of blog posts and national media attention are already suffering. I have highlighted their own properties and positive results in green and negative results in red.

Worryingly for Ryanair, not only are they suffering from negative press in their search results, but there are also competitors and affiliate websites that are potentially stealing business from them, both in the natural results and though pay-per-click adverts.
Failure to respond to this is undoubtedly costing them business and keeps other Ryanair properties such as their hotels, magazine and insurance websites off of the first page. The PPC competition needs to be addressed though a campaign of their own.

In terms of their reputation on social media they fare even worse than in the search results. Searching Technorati for blog posts about them brings back an overwhelmingly negative sentiment, the same is replicated on Twitter, though Digg is more mixed however Michael O’Leary is named among the worst corporate leaders of 2006. Lots of negative sentiment to Ryanair in the comments though.

Ryanair protest sites such as Ryanair Campaign and a Ryanair Customers Google Group seem to be very busy with complaints from users and boast visitor numbers running into the hundreds of thousands.

5 Steps For Ryanair To Take To Fix Their Online Reputation

  1. Address the search results problems using SEO to boost their own properties onto the first page while pushing down negative results.
  2. Use press releases and rich media to take ownership of Google news, video and image search results.
  3. Use a PPC campaign to outbid competitors bidding on their own brand names.
  4. Instigate a blogger outreach programme to listen to and address peoples public concerns – turning negative PR into positive.
  5. Create a social aspect to their own website, bringing complaints and concerns in-house so they can be dealt with more quickly and effectively – firefighting negative PR and limiting it’s impact.

Matt

September 4th, 2008.

Reputation Monitoring On The Cheap

Reputation management is going to be a massive growth area for brands over the next few years. Imagine the power in being able to monitor, track and aggregate everything that people are saying about your company and brand online, on blogs, websites, forums, everywhere in fact that your potential clients can find it. With more and more people researching potential purchases online it won’t just be useful to monitor online sentiment, it’ll become vital.

There are several free tools online that will help you to dip your toe into the world of reputation monitoring.

Google Alerts
This is something everyone should have setup. Google alerts will notify you by email every time they find a mention of a specific keyword anywhere online. By setting alerts for keywords like your company name, brand/product names, key staff etc you can keep track of when and why you’re getting mentions online. Key queries include [domain name], [domainname], [domainname.com], [your name], [Brand Name], [yourname], etc.

Google Blog Search
Play with the date parameters to see what people have been saying about your company in the past few days

Twing
Lets you find out what people have been saying about you on forums and discussion boards. Many companies keep a close eye on this and react to positive/negative comments.

Twitter Search
While Twitter is still quite new to a lot of people, it has a huge user base, and many larger tech and media companies are already using it to connect with their audience. Using Twitter Search you can monitor mentions of your company. Subscribe to the RSS feed to be alerted with new brand mentions.

Rob

June 18th, 2008.

Reputation management – What is it?

THE SHOCK

If you don’t read and respond to this post I will sully your brand by writing vicious articles about your company and I will make sure these articles appear top fo search engines.

Yes, this is the sort of world we live in now where criminals and less than scrupulous companies will seek to dominate what is being said about your brand.

THE MORE PROSAIC TRUTH

In reality the above is pretty uncommon though it will happen. What concerns most of us is how do we know what is being said about our company online and by whom.

We all know that word or mouth opinions are the most powerful in terms of influencing customer behaviour. Most of the time word of mouth extends to just 2-3 people, but what if this opinion finds its way to the top of Google each time someone does a search on your brand or company name. This can be disastrous.

Consider these listings for Dabs.com and laptops direct. These companies could be suffering hugely because of these postings. They may have been made by lone protesters but whoever they are their views are appearing on the first page of Google and that’s going to hurt.

Dabs.com

Laptops direct

Online reputation management is a relatively new “industry” as companies have caught on and comprehended the power of bloggers and opinion formers.

The service usually involves applying software to “monitor” comment and stories being written within the blogoshphere. The comments are then graded as to their content (positive, negative, neutral) and the writers influence (obviously a comment from the on the BBC site is obviously much more important than one from a lone blogger in Antartica.)

If a client’s reputation is seen to be suffering then a “reputation repair” service is instigated. The purpose of this is to drive any negative comments from Google’s index, and to post more positive comments within the blogs where the damage is being done.

As always, with any PR it is important that companies do not lie about their product or service. If people are posting genuine grievances “The steak was like leather”, “the cashier was rude” etc then a this should be addressed politely and any improvements that have been made should be highlighted. Accentuating the positive rather than prolonging the negative is key here.

THE SOLUTION

Datadial have launched their own Reputation management service this year and have already enabled blue chip clients to stifle negative press appearing Google and other search engines. The service breaks down into personal reputation management, brand reputation management and corporate reputation management.

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