Reputation Management Before And After The Rise Of The Internet
The management of one’s reputation before mass popularity of the internet was much simpler and less of a hassle. It consisted mainly of watching what you said during interviews and during press conferences. If there any questions you would respond to them directly in a press conference or by telephone.
Business owners would respond to customer complaints often directly. This would would involve a disgruntled customer and addressing their needs. A saying to safeguard one’s reputation at the time before the rise of the internet was to do not do anything outrageous that would land you on the front page of a local newspaper and have you portrayed in a negative fashion.
The time of directly addressing customers mainly by phone and responding directly to questions from the press is mostly gone now thanks to the internet. With the rise of the internet the tables have actually turned. Customers can now write reviews about a product or service they purchased or hired from a business on the web. This can be both good and bad for a company or professional person.
Positive reviews will obviously bolster the reputation of a product, company, business or service. Negative reviews on the other hand will damage the reputation and credibility. The accessibility of the internet to the general public means that anybody can post reviews or feedback on a product or service. This was not like a long gone by era where reviews or feedback was given by magazine writers reviewing a product. Another way people found about reviews from a person was by word of mouth from someone who actually used a product or service.
The ease of posting a review, sometimes without even having to verify they used or bought a product of service creates some challenges. It also changes the game of reputation management. Companies and business owners must now watch and monitor what is being said about them on the internet. It is not enough any more to simply respond positively to interviews, newspaper inquires or do press releases anymore. Press releases are now even done through the web now. Instead of being delivered by a notable company figure or spokesperson, they are often just published on the company’s page or through another website that releases press releases for a charge.
The rise of the internet has made reputation management increasingly more digital and customer focused. There is less control now on directly controlling what is being said or posted about a company, product or service. Reviews and feedback are now the key components of establishing credibility and trustworthiness in a post internet world where search engines are widely used to scope out products and services beforehand.