Reputation management in a day

February 6, 2009

The smart people at We are Social had an interesting post up describing a conversation that took place on Twitter about their client (@stephenfry). It was claimed that he didn’t write his own tweets, which he in fact does, but within a day the whole thing had been cleared up and the person making the claim, none other than Robert Scoble (@scobleizer), had retracted the claim and apologised.

How? We are Social were scanning Twitter for comments about their clients, caught the relevant tweet, responded on Twitter immediately, and Scoble obviously did the right thing and apologised. Case closed.

This incident is a great case-study in how effective monitoring and quick reponse via social media can speed up reputation management. Of course, in this case all people concerned actually work in social media, which helps, but generally, social media monitoring and rapid response is becoming part of the communications mix for a number of organisations and politicians, in an attempt to nip untruths and other damaging stories in the bud. On the political front, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign was, as ever, at the forefront with Fight the Smears.

And if we look into our crystal ball?

  • All organisations and politicians will have a social media monitoring set-up as well as a social media presence which will permit them to address issues directly and instantly.
  • Reputation and crisis management will be web-led.
  • PR agencies or even internal comms teams dealing with reputation and crisis management will be given a lot less time to clear up the mess..!
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