Social Media Solicitor

Defamation of business and social media

Business Reputation Management and Social Media (Part 1)


Are you aware of what customers are saying about your organisation?

What about your ex-employees?

What are your competitors telling the world about you?

What plans do you have in place to help you cope with unauthorised dissemination of information on the internet by a disgruntled customer or by your own former employee?

This blog is aimed to help you set out the most basic yet important foundations for successful online reputation management. As information travels quickly across the internet, you ought to be conscious of the fact that one or two people who set their mind to cause damage to the company’s reputation may successfully impact on the company’s sales for many years to come.

Take the story of Dell as an example, it is going back some 7 or 8 years and is as good as a case study as it was back in 2005 because the company in question has still not recovered from that event.

A few years ago a journalist, but otherwise an ordinary guy was experiencing a few problems with his brand new Dell computer. In his attempts to get his computer to work he went through a long customer care journey which damaged a strong company brand perhaps for good.

The journalist was trying to gain the interest of those who are in charge of customer relations at Dell but to no avail. So far, nothing special about this story, just another dissatisfied customer of a giant company. These things happen. But then the story takes an interesting turn which ended up costing Dell un-quantified amounts of money in loss of business and damage to its reputation.

This unsatisfied customer decided to post a blog diary, setting out in detail his continuance dealing with Dell, day by day, minute by minute. The result? Scores of readers have left their comments on the blog and other bloggers linked to the thread. The story was now appearing on the first pages of Google for the search phrase ‘Dell’.

Within weeks, the story caught the attention of the off line media and articles started to appear in national newspapers all over the world. This was the point where Dell finally had woken up to the new world of social media. It took many weeks though before its management realised that negative comments on the internet by whoever cannot be ignored but by the time the company’s management decided to take action it was clearly too late.

Over the years the story has evolved. There have been daily updates and loads of articles written about the story. Despite this, managers in many companies still remain complacent about using social networking and dealing with online driven public relations crisis. This blog is aimed to help create strong foundations for successful online reputation management.

Author: Yair Cohen Social media lawyer

Read part 2 of the Business Reputation Management and Social Media series.
Read part 3 of the Business Reputation Management and Social Media series.
Read part 4 of the Business Reputation Management and Social Media series.
Read part 5 of the Business Reputation Management and Social Media series.

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