Warren Buffet Thinks Reputation is Invaluable and He’s Right

Warren Buffet is a world renowned investor; he is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway who is valued at sixty-six billion dollars. How does someone like Warren Buffet maintain his streak of successful endeavours; the answer is quite simple, reputation management. This is one of Berkshire Hathaway’s most prized asset; it may be intangible but powerful nonetheless.

Researchers have discovered that a solid name built by reputation management can have a real monetary value. A few studies demonstrate that a well known reputation can in fact replace a line of credit. Warren Buffet is aware of this and he would gladly pay a premium for a good reputation. He doesn’t only pay more for businesses with more integrity, he is also willing to pay to maintain or increase his own name.

It was in 1972 when Warren Buffet was interested in a company called Wesco. During the time, Wesco almost purchased another company but Buffet stated that the price was too high. Eventually the CEO of Wesco pulled out of the Merger and cleared a path for Berkshire to takeover but the way it was done was unprecedented. Wesco’s price fell to $11.00 a share, which was normal according to the circumstances. That price was a steal for anyone to purchase but Warren Buffet thought it wouldn’t be fair to purchase Wesco at this price since he was the cause for Wesco’s drop in stock price. He decided to purchase Wesco at $15.00 a share. The entire business world and the SEC were confused to what Buffet had done. The question that was raised is, “why would anyone in business pay more than the valued or asking amount?” Warren Buffet explained how this helps to build integrity for both sides of the transaction. The premium he payed has an economic value since integrity helps to build a good reputation in various dealings with other companies. At the time, many people within the industry didn’t understand Buffet’s strategy but as time went on and how Berkshire continued to grow, people finally started to comprehend his Wesco purchase strategy.

The name he created for Berkshire Hathaway is the reason why entrepreneurs seek out investments from them and this leads to more prospects for Berkshire. The integrity is what gives them the advantage when they are in a bidding war. They are able to purchase a company at a lower price than the rival bidder(s). This was proved with the acquisition of RC Wiley, a home furnishing company in 1995. The rival bidders were offering $200 million for the entire company but RC Wiley sold it to Berkshire Hathaway for $175 million. RC Wiley technically paid $25 million to be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway. This is how powerful a good name can be, it can force other companies to take a financial hit.

Reputation is the single greatest tool that anyone can easily overlook. A good name can lead to a company wide culture of trust, loyalty, and admiration but companies and entrepreneurs can easily destroy their name. That is truly the scariest factor about reputation, it can take you years to build a solid name but only seconds to destroy it. Warren Buffet is strong but a fair person and he’s said, “lose money for the firm, and I will be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless.”

9 Ways Pokemon Go Can Boost Your Business Reputation

As many witnessed in the past week, Pokemon Go has become a huge phenomenon that is sweeping the globe. A good portion of the users are men and women who grew up with Pokemon when they first came to the North American market in the late nineties. This age group is 25 to 30 and there are still plenty of children who got into the later generations of Pokemon. On top of that, there are still quite a number of people playing Pokemon Go who never took part in any Pokemon games.

This is a game for smart phones that allows people to catch Pokemon by navigating their own cities. This game utilizes GPS (for players location) and camera on the phone (to place the image of the Pokemon in the real world; augmented reality) where they have to swipe the poke balls towards the Pokemon in order to catch them. This has successfully led children and adults to going outside and getting exercise.

This is a game that can possibly change the mobile gaming landscape and is quite important to keep oneself up to date on any new forms of technology or trends to better reach out to customers. For the longest time, many companies worldwide have started to advertise on social media by either paying to place their add on the side or by simply posting their own videos on pages they created to communicate with their followers. However, Pokemon Go has shown a huge spike in activity and it has greatly surpassed Twitter and Facebook for daily use; which it still continues to grow. This is an opportunity for businesses to capitalize on the Pokemon craze by applying some of the 9 ways Pokemon Go can help the reputation of your business.

1) Understanding the lingo

Business owners should learn the main concept of Pokemon and more in order to reach out to this particular crowd later on. Sometimes knowing a specific Pokemon and carrying a conversation about it can make a huge difference when it comes to attracting a customer.

2) Knowledge of Poke stops near your business

In the real world, players will be stampeding around Poke stops or spots filled with Pokemon around the city. Within the game, Poke stops are blue cubes where you can get items which are located based off a real world map. For example, a local park can be a Poke stop. If there is a Poke stop located close to your business, you are in luck because this is an amazing way to lure customers to your store to spend time looking for Pokemon.

3) Post screenshots of Pokemon discovered in your store

If you do have a Pokemon Go account, its an easy way to post pictures of Pokemon found in your store which can attract people to come and try to catch rare or different Pokemon. Also, taking a picture of a Pokemon that appeared in store next to a product is easy and cheap advertising. There is a good chance customers or random visitors who came to catch Pokemon will take pictures in your store and post it on social media.

4) Reminding customers you have wifi and outlets

This is an easy way of getting customers to come into your business or restaurant to charge their phone and use your wifi since the game tends to drain the battery and use data. This way they can recharge in your store and create more traffic to your store which can lead to more sales. Especially if it’s a restaurant or coffee shop.

5) Have promotions with names that correspond with Pokemon Go

If a business were to use a Pokemon theme for selling promotions, this can attract a wide variety of customers to the business. Even if there are no promotions, if you use the Pokemon Go lingo to demonstrate your awareness, it’ll go along way with your customers.

6) Use in game Pokemon Lures at Poke stops near your business

A lure is an item that you attach to a Poke stop that functions as bait for Pokemon. If your business is close to a Poke stop, by placing a lure there, you will create lots of traffic to or around your business. If you don’t have a lure, you can always buy a lure for one dollar which would be an investment for the business.

7) Use Pokemon images to advertise on your sidewalk marketing

There are tons of ways to catering to Pokemon Go players and one efficient way is by letting them know they are welcome to the store with simple pictures that represent the Pokemon franchise on posters or chalk boards for sidewalk marketing.

8) Cater to a team and Rotate

Within the game, there are three teams or guilds a player can join when they reach level five (Valour, Mystic or Instinct). Players have demonstrated strong levels of loyalty to their teams and by simply catering to each of the teams can definitely benefit the business. The most important thing they should remember is to rotate which teams they are catering towards either on a daily or weekly basis.

9) Pokemon Gyms

Pokemon gyms are places where they battle with their Pokemon and gain in-game gold by holding onto the gym as long as possible. With a possibility of having three guilds who are all battling for a position at the gym, this will attract hordes of players toward your business and it’ll be even better if your business is the location for the gym.

This is a huge phenomenon that gained traction over night and people are still learning how to adapt to it; which makes it the best time to get ahead by downloading the app and learning firsthand what this game is precisely about. This is one easy way of focusing on reputation management for the business and this includes the acceptance and possibly some rewards for Pokemon Go players who will want to support your business. This is not your average mobile game, it’s a phenomenon that is reaching out to people on so many levels. Pokemon is brotherhood to many; where loyalty is what matters most in any fellowship.

Mobile vs. PC

This might be a surprise for people who don’t use many smart devices but people are using their smartphones more than they use their laptops or PC’s. A survey was conducted in United States by Local Search Association (LSA) and Thrive Analytics with 2,147 samples. LSA stated that active mobile users shop excessively and about 60% of adults conduct their product research on their smartphones.

LSA also stated that about 70% of about 18 trillion dollars US GDP comes from consumer spending which occurs within 20 miles of their home or work. In 2014, $300 million of that is e-commerce (a little behind offline shopping). LSA said, “40% of consumers use desktop PC or laptop when looking for local information online, a nine percent decrease from 2014.”

Mobile fanatics or in other words, active users are a new and growing consumer sector. Active users are constantly shopping and seeking products whether they’re at home, work or a hockey game. Smartphones or any other portable devices make it extremely easy to access websites such as Amazon, eBay, or any business related website that uses e-commerce.

LSA states that they need to not only understand why active users need to shop but what and what to purchase. The underlying question they need to answer is; what is relevant to mobile fanatics? LSA found that PC’s and laptops are and will be crucial for e-commerce and the mobile era has not reached the tipping point; however, they are making major changes in how and what people use to search information about companies and consumer products.

The evidence suggests that mobile users are extremely dependent on their devices and this dependency only continues to grow whether they need to constantly text or shop, it has become a part of their lifestyle.

The LSA study discovered the following:

1- 52% of Smartphone users search for information either in their car or on the go

2- 90% of all users have at some point used their device while shopping; 54% of these users searched for deals while 51% used their devices to compare prices with other retailers

3- 45% of active users utilize the store apps to seek info on certain products or sales while they’re in the store

Consumers today tend to cycle online and offline information regarding companies, products or services from A to Z of the purchasing process. This is the era that marketers can flourish by simply knowing and deciding which content they can use to affect a consumer’s decision regarding the time they spend on mobile devices.

Major companies must realize that in order to succeed in today’s market; they will have to utilize online reputation management and marketing on mobile devices. Weber Shandwick stated, 83% of consumers admit online reviews play a pivotal role when it comes to making a purchase decision and 81% of consumers state online search results can affect their thoughts about a company. Retail firms need to focus on their reputation online in order to attract a potential customer in an extremely competitive online market.

Revenge Porn Mogul

Revenge Porn, Scott Breitenstein

Scott Breitenstein has an extremely negative reputation and has been called “internet terrorist” as well as “the worst man on the internet.” His legacy has ruined lives, destroyed relationships and shattered reputations. Scott has been subject to many lawsuits, court orders and pursued by Homeland Security because he hosted a “revenge porn” website. This site was a place for disgruntled exes to post nude photos or videos online as a way of getting back at them for cheating. In order to fully understand Scott, we need to backtrack to when he got into the hosting industry.

Scott came across a site called ComplaintsBureau.com in around 2005. He went to the site to complain about being scammed by an e-commerce website selling flat screen TV’s. After a week has gone by since he made his post, the TV seller website was taken down. He found himself happy that a complaint made a difference, even though he didn’t get back his money; the idea that he was able to prevent it from happening to someone else made him content with the situation. This caused him to contact the owner of ComplaintsBureau.com and asked if he can buy the site. Scott was an electrician and plumber who played around in web design; he taught himself how to use HTML and PHP to restructure the website. He was set on creating a site where anyone can blow the whistle on predatory businesses for scamming or ripping customers off.

Scott’s site was a very simple and plain website; however, it had a great search engine optimization compared to other similar sites. This is the reason why ComplaintsBureau’s posts were number one on Google search results for those businesses searched. Many times when customers were looking for that particular business, they would come in contract with ComplaintsBureau post with a negative comment about that business and the customer would never end up going to the designated website. This site was designed to put bad businesses to sleep and Scott was proud.

Several years later, ComplaintsBureau noticed a user who posted nude photos of his cheating ex-girlfriend. This gave Scott a new idea where he can host revenge porn on disgruntled exes. He noticed a huge surge in traffic to his website; the AdSense program by Google went up from $200.00 dollars to $1200.00. This became a thriving business and gave him the idea to start other websites such as ReportMyEx.com and CheatersRUs.com.

This business has caused him to kill his reputation as a person but more importantly, it was destroying the reputations of the victims. One girl even committed suicide after supposedly sending an email to get the photos and videos removed. Scott said that he didn’t receive the email and said he would have taken down those posts. On the other hand, he had a strict policy in terms of removing posts. His philosophy was about people posting complaints online as a way to warn others. Whether it was to warn about the terrible service at a breakfast place or a cheerleader who used men for money; Scott saw it as black and white. He wasn’t a perverted man who enjoyed these posts or felt utter sympathy. He was quite neutral about the business; he cared about the money and the users who felt they were betrayed. Due to the nature of his business, many law firms and agencies to shut down his site sought him out but he refused. According to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, he is allowed to host these particular sites even though it is illegal to post them. As long as he wasn’t creating and posting this content, he was protected within the law.

Eventually, he had a meeting with Annmarie Chiarini, a victim’s services director with Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and being a victim herself, who presented a video about revenge porn and how it affects women (since roughly 90% of victims are women). She described how it affected women and the social circles of these victims. Even though he technically isn’t the one posting them, he is still contributing to a corrupt system that provides sexual entertainment of non-consented people; this is still a sexual predator of a different nature. After having the meeting with Chiarini, he admitted that she was right and he probably has to shut down that segment of the website. Throughout the meeting, he didn’t argue or become defensive, he simply never saw it from that point of view. He still had the image of when he got vengeance from getting that cam of a TV website to shut down and the sense of achievement, which ultimately clouded his thought process on this specific matter. He wasn’t fuelled by perversion or malice; he was simply providing a service and had strict rules regarding his removal policy of posts. Ever since he shut down that aspect from the website, the Google Absence went down from $1200.00 to under $200.00 a month. He took a huge hit but it was the right thing to do, even though his reputation will always be regarded as the foulest person on the net.

Hillary’s Online Reputation Scandal

hillary-clinton-reputation

Reputation management has transformed the political landscape. Any politician Fifteen years ago had a tough time living with any scandal that surfaced to the public; today, that is not the case. Residents of the United States tend to keep track of the most popular candidates for any election; whether it’s George W. Bush or Barrack Obama. The best way to keep track or to gain info on the candidates are through search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Search engines make it simple to find previous political debates or advertisements; as well as any scandals the candidates have gone through. Just like the scandal Hillary Clinton has faced when she was secretary of state, there was a term coined after the scandal which was “Crooked Hillary.” This term emerged from social media and spread throughout the online community like wildfire. In search engines, if you type a word or phrase into any search engine, there are usually some suggestions and when people typed “crooked,” there was no suggestion of Hillary anywhere. It seems that Google has modified their algorithm to hide all the negative results pertaining to Hillary Clinton.

The email scandal that took place in the past have resurfaced but not to the full extent. At the time, only some of the emails have been released to the press and public  which most people were aware. However, a majority didn’t know that most of those emails were sent through AOL and Gmail servers. A spokesman for Google and Gmail refused to comment on this issue. Additionally to affecting the Google suggestions, it seems as though some Google searches about Hillary Clinton have not gained any results. All the results associated with Hillary Clinton were completely positive which favoured her. If one were to search “Hillary Clinton crime,” it would yield no real material concerning with the scandal. Reputation management has become a hidden service for politicians such as Hillary but she isn’t the only one.

Anyone can notice that Google search results for Hillary have been adjusted; however, Donald Trump is also in the same boat as Hillary. After all the racist comments and the backing of the violent supporters, none of the negative results were found for Trump. Questions have risen, asking if Google can be paid off to change the results or are they terrible at their job? Most if not all google users would agree that Google is an exceptional company that puts out amazing products and services so the likelihood of them performing poorly is rather low. The evidence is clear that search engines have been tampered in order to help political candidates and the residents of the nation will have a hard time finding any articles or news relating to any negative news. The best way for people to find dirt on political candidates is by using many different types of search engines with various other keywords. Also, many people post videos or articles on social media; especially the pages where they post news about politics and the economy. It may not have the validity as the New York Times but it is better than nothing for locating dirt on public figures.

HBO’s Silicon Valley Demonstrate Reputation Management

Reputation Management has gained quite of bit of traction over the past decade. In the early twenty-first century, public relation agents were the ones to mainly handle a company’s or an individual’s name. Today, people in front of a computer handle multiple firm’s or individuals reputation through many facets such as social media outlets or search engine results. A company’s character is extremely sensitive because it takes several years to build a solid name but it takes one bad day to tarnish its image forever. For example, Toyota used to be considered the most reliable car maker within North America but after the recalls on over ten million new models sold; they had to start from scratch in order to build their reputation back to where it was. This issue is what HBO’s show, Silicon Valley, was portraying on their latest episode.

 

The episode was portraying the pitfalls of how outsiders glimpse into any startup firms. In the eighth episode, an early investor of Pied Piper, Erlich Bachman, was hesitant on telling the CEO, Richard Hendricks, that he sold his shares of the company in order to settle his personal debts. It took Bachman about ten days after the sale was made to even have the guts to tell Hendricks. Since Pied Piper created an app that can squeeze gigantic files into a small file, the news was travelling fast. The Pied Piper had made a huge breakthrough in the tech world and any news, positive or negative, would be casted into the limelight. In the show, a PR agent tells them that this paints an extremely negative image of the company. Shareholders and other tech moguls would naturally start to think that insider trading has occurred. Within the world of business, when any shareholder dumps that amount of stock in a short period, it is presumed that they know something is wrong. In the real Silicon Valley, investors tend to help startups since they most likely have a product or service that has great potential. That is the reason why when someone sells off stock early on in the startup, it sends a terrible image to the public. Hendricks confronts Bachman and states that he needs to hold a press conference to explain the real reason for selling his stocks of the Pied Piper. Bachman retorts on how it is embarrassing because in the show, the name Bachman was compared to the word success. If Bachman were to admit to the world that he was bankrupt and sold his shares to help him get out of the gutter, he would tear apart his reputation which took years to build compared to a startup that still has great potential.

UC Davis Employs Reputation Management Firms and Backfires

Many institutions employ reputation management firms to help promote or hide events. Whether it’s a fortune 500 company or an university, when these services are needed, they do not hesitate to contact the best. Just as University of California Davis employed a company from Maryland called Nevins and Associates back in January 2013. They signed a six-month contract for $15,000 a month. It was a measure to counteract the bad publicity after the pepper spraying fiasco.

The incident occurred during a protest in November 2011 where students were against tuition fee increases. When things were getting out of “control,” a former UC Davis police officer pepper sprayed students who were simply sitting down and refusing to move out of the way. There was a video that went viral and it picked up a lot of traction nationwide where the country had its eyes on UC Davis for the pepper spray incident. The office known as Lt. John Pike was awarded $38,000 in workers compensation for experiencing such a backlash and was moved around for protection since the police union claimed he received threatening emails and text messages. He officially left the onsite campus police force in July 2012. However, UC Davis had another problem to face, which was the negative image that was scarred onto the University’s name due to the incident. This is why they sought out reputation management firms.

The first reputation management firm they employed was Nevins and Associates. However, they later employed IDMLOCO for a contract of $82,500 back in June 2014 to “design and execute a comprehensive search engine results management strategy.” There was an email that was hacked and leaked, which came from IDMLOCO to Chancellor Katehi of UC Davis. The email consisted of IDMLOCO thanking UC Davis for this opportunity. They stated that they are following a plan based on previous discussions with the school to achieve a naturally positive search results on key words relating to UC Davis and Chancellor Katehi. They further explain the phase one of the plan which will consist of a thorough analysis of search results to properly evaluate the best options to take when countering the negative results. They also stated they will perform a social media audit. In layman’s terms, they will review all existing social media accounts and seek out popular content or messages that can benefit them to reaching out to the community. When this email was released into the public, UC Davis’s reputation became stained even more than before. On top of reminding the nation how they dealt with student protestors, the university using their funds in trying to hide the events of the incident online became a deadlier negative image for the school. Many students and citizens of the nation were demanding the Chancellor to step down and own up to her mistakes instead of hiding the truth. Some were completely shocked at the idea of hiding such an incident and then comparing it to the Tiananmen Square protest that took place in 1989 in Beijing. In that particular incident, student protesters were killed my military squads yet China never tried to hide that part of history and used it to learn from their mistakes when dealing with similar circumstances in the future.  

How Reputation Management can Help Millennial Engagement

Brand Reputation Management

 

Engaging with Millennials is one of the most talked about marketing problems & targeting priorities that every brand must deal with. If you are a corporate brand or a high-profile/high net worth individual personal brand, how you market yourself to Millennials is of key importance now and in the coming years.

By 2020, almost half of the US workforce will be Millennials. They are socialized to be lifelong learners, are the most savvy consumers in history and are known to be advertising resistant, many of whom are completely Add immune. This is psychological, and not due to add blockers.

The online reputation management of your brand will therefore have to optimize your best content to appeal to these collaborative leaders of the next generation.

The reputation management industry is maturing with the evolution of SEO, content, social media and digital technologies. How reputation management intersects with the most educated and digitally addicted generation in history, is highly relevant to the digital influence of your brand upon customer acquisition, customer retention and sales.

Demonstrating that you are customer centric in today’s digital ecosystem and sales funnel, more and more, actually means being Millennial-centric in your branding, marketing and PR strategy.

ORM is Critical for Engaging Millennials

In an age of mobile natives (Millennial generation), how search, public relations (PR) and marketing campaigns are done is changing very quickly. Millennials are driving these trends forwards as a faster pace than many businesses can manage.

As such, Millennials are the most peer & influencer-marketing influenced generation in history and the most adept at searching for reviews online. So to summarize Millennials are:

Mobile and digital natives
Peer Influenced
Influencer influenced
Adept at Search and Review Sites

Online reputation management (ORM), is therefore an important strategy to consider when implementing a marketing plan and social media campaigns targeted at Millennials.

Since Millennials require brands to be personable, authentic, helpful, educational and in tune with their reality, negative reviews and incriminating feedback from customers can easily dissuade them from buying.

ORM can be a key factor in how brands elevate their marketing strategy to adapt to Millennials searching about products or services via mobile search.

In a recent report on social media today, 94% of women interact with brands online on an active basis. As Millennials drive many of the online, content and search engine reputation management (SERM) trends, brands are required to know the most optimal and highest ROI ways of getting the best possible results on Google and monitoring their ORM on an on-going basis.

Reputation management, is therefore at the forefront of how PR and SEO (search engine optimization) can boost engagement with Millennials for your brand and in particular, identify and remedy crisis management, and identity branding & search emergencies as they occur in the normal lifecycle of any brand online.

Millennials with their insistence on transparency, social advocacy, and their fondness for corporate social responsibility indicates that corporate and personal brands have to adapt themselves to the values of this audience. ORM is implicated in how content marketing is optimized for search and brand discovery, arguably, the most important digital influence on sales.

Negative reviews can in today’s social media world, be quickly amplified by Millennial brand advocates and Millennial (peer) influencers themselves leading to unintentional negative press, detrimental PR and even litigation issues for brands without an ORM strategy and solution.

ORM can thus lead to better branding strategy that is conducive to an optimized Millennial following, that will play a significant role in how your corporate or personal brand scales in the coming years as Millennials are set to be the most important demographic online.

An ORM solution can implement the following workflow for your brand’s SEO issues:

Monitor, audit and carefully report on the reputation management issues of your individual or commercial brand.

Identify content which is potentially damaging to your brand and gaps in your SEO that lowers your credibility, social authority and trust among Millennial audiences.

Communicate relevant SEO changes and possible PR issues with your marketing team.

Take necessary reverse SEO and ORM actions to suppress the negative information that may be damaging search results and therefore customer engagement and even sales.

Since Millennials are highly engaged and interactive users of review sites, comments, user generated content, social media channels experts, and so forth; optimizing your brand’s reputation management issues relating to them makes a lot of sense.

ORM for Millennial engagement facilitates the optimal ROI of search results on Google for your brand and business.

Millennials make up the most active demographic on such sites and social apps that often have a high impact on the brand impressions of your products and services, such as:
Yelp
Foursquare
Facebook Ratings
TripAdvisor
Pinterest
Instagram, etc…

Stats on Millennials

Millennials are considered a very important demographic in marketing as they lead mobile and digital trends forward. In addition the following statistics shed some light on their tendencies.

Millennials make up 27% of the US population.
They review blogs (33%) and peer reviews as important indicators before making a purchase.
Millennials value “authenticity” (43%) over content authority when consumer News.
According to Deloitte, Millennials have tenacious personal values that do not tend to change even as they move up the corporate ladder or gain an inheritance.

Millennials are a Significant Consumer Demographic

Millennials will spend $200 billion annually by 2017 and up to $10 trillion over their lifetimes as consumers in the US.
Millennials are social consumers who sleep near their smartphone and who has a group experience social validation online. For example, 70% are more excited about a decision they have made when their friends agree with them, compared to only 48% for non-Millennials.
As of February 2016, 25% of Millennials in the US are parents and by 2026, this will be near 80%.
Over 80% use YouTube (and Netflix) more than they watch TV and text more than they talk on their smartphones.

A number of Millennials cite their parents as important purchasing touch points and this makes their parents as highly implicated in their purchasing decisions indicating Millennials may be the most important demographic for purchasing decision engagement in an inter-generational family.

Reputation management techniques are uniquely positioned to scale with how Millennials interact with your brand today and tomorrow, in its ability to strengthen the SEO of your best content, while fixing PR and content discrepancies that could lower your brand impressions and brand engagement.

In today’s ever changing mobile and digital search ecosystems, online reputation management is poised to help you engage with Millennials.

Michael Spencer is a branding strategist and copywriter based out of Montreal. He is one of the most featured authors on LinkedIn’s Millennials channel.

Reputation Management

Reputation management has become an important industry worldwide, with the use of Google search engine, maintaining or enhancing ones reputation can either be easy or difficult to manage. If a company is caught with a fine for environmental damages it can take quite a toll on their reputation; on the other hand, if the company has done a great job raising money for multiple charity organizations, this will further increase the companies name. The interesting thing about reputation is that it can take a long time to build it where you want it to be but it can also crumble in a matter of seconds. Many executives and companies realize the importance of reputation and they take this very seriously. The severity of reputation leads them to employ reputation management companies to properly watch over their position over the net. The number one place to look for any individual or company is through google.

Today, Google has become a huge part of our lives. You depend on Google as a child looking for explanations about dinosaurs to adults looking for intricate recipes or directions to a store. That is where you go for any form of information, whether it’s good news or bad news. Many companies are aware of this and with the employment of reputation management companies, search engine results can be altered to enhance ones own status. This is called SEO, search engine optimization. Twenty years ago, reputation management companies consisted of publicists. They knew how to present oneself within the media to build character but with the internet and the advancement in technology, reputation services extended to a new breed of “publicists.” These publicists were the kind who knew how to change the search engine results with just their keyboards and their minds.  This sparked a new industry called SEO services.

SEO service industry has flourished in the last decade. Many companies and individuals seek out services from these companies to further increase their reputation or awareness on Google. For instance, if an individual were to open a restaurant that serves blood pudding and a cow tongue sandwich with tarragon, not many people would walk into the restaurant; but, if there was an online presence where they reached out to people who loved to eat food of this caliber or people who liked to try new and weird items, reputation management services knew how to create such a presence online. SEO is electronic marketing and most marketers are leaning towards such services since it does not produce much overhead costs and easy to employ in the hands of an expert. The interesting thing about SEO is that it works. It is about being aware of the keywords people would use to search for something specific and by knowing the keywords, these firms can do wonders to the search results.