New Online Monitoring Service Helps Protect Clients’ Reputations

Companies and organizations concerned with protecting their reputations can now get the information and analysis they need to identify and correct problems online using new Online Monitoring Services offered by Eric Mower and Associates (EMA) Public Relations and Public Affairs group.

The new services monitor and assess the online universe for those clients who need to know how the online community perceives and talks about them.

Increasingly, online discussion is a critical driver of word-of-mouth communications in addition to serving as a primary source for information for all forms of business relationships. Customers and prospective customers, potential business partners and investors, job applicants and vendors are more frequently turning to the Internet to learn about an organization prior to becoming further involved. And one disgruntled ex-employee or dissatisfied customer’s negative blog posting is all it takes to drive a wedge between a reputable company and a desirable partnership.

Just as traditional, pro-active public relations strategies help protect companies from unpleasant surprises such as negative news stories, online monitoring gives companies understanding of what’s being said about them on the Internet. EMA’s insights and assessment are powerful tools that provide companies with the option of responding, defending, correcting, apologizing, making amends or incorporating the feedback in future strategic plans.

Building and maintaining good online relationships is as critical, if not more critical, than personal contacts involving any business, personal, community and investor relations. Online communications – whether good or bad – travel faster and wider than any other form of communication. If not monitored and handled quickly, negative online publicity can damage a reputation or relationship within a matter of minutes.

EMA’s new Online Monitoring Services provide its clients with the knowledge of what’s being said about them online, so that intelligent decisions can be made regarding proactive strategies and appropriate responses.

EMA PR pros can assist organizational spokespersons to develop and deliver appropriate responses to blog or forum postings, especially when rumors and misinformation are discovered, and to correct reporting inaccuracies whenever possible. From extensive experience in the field of crisis communications, EMA has the know-how to deliver proactive, protective messages to head off simmering negative issues before they become full-blown damaging crises.

To obtain an accurate picture of online perceptions of client brands and company name(s), EMA PR specialists will monitor:

  • Mainstream news outlets’ online offerings
  • Internet-only news sites
  • Newswires
  • News aggregators
  • Relevant online analysts and opinion leaders
  • Industry, advocacy and interest group sites and forums
  • Blogs and postings
  • A range of social media outlets which may include such diverse sites as YouTube, FaceBook, MySpace, Google Trends, and social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit and Digg
  • Topical and industry-specific sites as they emerge and are discovered

EMA’s Online Monitoring Services consist of three components: 1.) an initial audit and assessment, 2.) ongoing monitoring and 3.) active management through participation and response.

Information from the first two phases, plus public relations analysis and judgment, will indicate if responses are needed or appropriate to any problematic postings identified.

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