Showing posts with label Branding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Branding. Show all posts

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Online Reputation Management: The Basics

All professionals, especially those who conduct business online, can be subject to bad publicity. All it takes is one negative comment on a blog or website with the right (or wrong) mix of traffic to drive a company’s reputation into the ditch. If your company has not heard of or are not doing Online Reputation Management (ORM), here are the basics and why this is something every business needs to start doing now.


What is Online Reputation Management (ORM)

ORM is the process of following online references to a brand, company, person or service while having a plan in place to deal with any negative feedback. It is a three-step process, although they may not always occur in this order:

  • Monitor – Maintain an ongoing system for researching and keeping track of public perception.

  • Evaluate – Consider individual feedback, as well as the source, outlet, reach and timing, to come to a decision about the risk.

  • Act – Comment, rebut, draft a formal response or simply ignore what has been said, based on your company’s evaluation.

ORM is typically considered to be a mix of marketing (including SEO) and public relations. There are numerous firms offering ORM services, although it’s something companies can do on their own for free.

Why Companies must have an Online Reputation Management Program

Let’s say your company has years of experience, a solid client base, and great relationships with your clients and colleagues. Your company recently bid on a huge design project with a well-known company and won. One of the other candidates, who was not awarded the job, is resentful. Not only did he put hours into the process, but a friend within the company essentially guaranteed him the job.

Upon discovering that your company was awarded the work, the other candidate publicly attacks your company’s character, work ethic and values in his very popular design blog with over 5,000 readers. Unbeknownst to your comapny, one of the top Google results for your name is now this scathing post, which at this point has 35 comments from people who don’t even know your company, agreeing with the author. Anyone who Googles your company will now see this negative response -- potentially before they reach the business’s website.

It takes two weeks until the company is aware that there is a drop off in normally steady inquiries, and a call from a long-term client asking for details on the situation further highlights the situation. At this point, your company has no way to know how much business has been lost, but senior members are quickly scrambling to find all references to this post, and trying to do damage control.

If your company had been monitoring its online reputation, senior management would have immediately known about the negatively. Now the business’s executive team would not have been able to avoid this situation, but they could have done a few things immediately to defray some of the damage. The most important part of online reputation management is being aware of what’s being said about your company, to whom and why. It also requires that the proper methods be implemented to be quickly advised of negative comments on the Internet and that that there is a plan in place when action can be taken.

How to Handle Negative Publicity

Ideally, with every project taken on and every relationship formed, companies need to work toward building a professional reputation. Your company can enhance the effectiveness of a positive reputation by:

  • Doing great work

  • Being customer service oriented

  • Making yourself approachable

  • Collaborating with others in your industry

  • Forming personal relationships

But even if your company does everything right, there may come a time when negative publicity raises its ugly head. Harmful feedback can happen for many reasons – a misunderstanding, a wrong-doing on by a company employee, varying points of view, a disgruntled former employee, a competitor, or any number of other reasons.

How your company reacts to negative feedback is dependent on the type of comment, who said it, what forum it was said in, and the potential it has to damage your company’s reputation. However, there are some ways to gauge the risk of negative publicity and determine how best to handle it.

Think It Through

We’re human, so our initial reaction to negative comments is usually anger, belligerence, and/or defensiveness. The worst thing a company can do is react quickly without thinking the situation through because your company may only make the situation worse. Put yourself in the other person’s position, and be honest with yourself. Take a deep breath and ask yourself these questions:

  •  Is the comment true?

  • Can I see how this person could view my company’s actions this way?

  • Did an employee do something that was misunderstood or misconstrued?

  • Is my company in the wrong?

By being rational and at the same time pragmatic about the situation, the senior management can avoid doing further damage. Senior management may want to get a focus group of company employees together to further analyze the situation and get a new perspective.

The saying, “All publicity is good publicity,” may not be entirely accurate, but your company can certainly turn some negative situations into positive events. Negative publicity can give your company the opportunity to right a wrong; it can provide a platform for your company to address an issue; and it can make your company better at what it does.

Respond or Not?

Not every negative comment deserves a response. In fact, your company may decide not to respond because they feel the situation is best simply ignored. If the impact is minimal, don’t fuel the fire by pleading your case when it’s not necessary.

In some cases, your company may want to go to the source and try to work it out offline. A personal conversation may uncover information that would not have been otherwise known. If your company was in the wrong, your company can rectify the situation, and ask the author to publicly retract their comment or provide further information to defray the impact.

Your company can also respond by posting a public comment or publishing an acknowledgment letter on your company’s website or blog addressing the situation and providing your own perspective. However, be sure not to be overly defensive or personally attack the other party as that will only make your company look unprofessional.

Use It to Your Advantage

Keep in mind that whatever method your company chooses to handle the situation, your company cannot change the actions of others. Handle the situation as your company thinks is best, but don’t be pulled off-track by the negativity of others.

The Bureau

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DeliveryMaxx Helps U.S. Companies & the Economy

DeliveryMaxx prides itself on being a small business giving new opportunities to individuals who would like to make a difference in the way consumers feel about their percieved value of their purchases.

We live in a society that places value on the size of our homes, type of vehicle we use for transportation, time pieces we wear on our wrist, and the brands of suits that makes up our attire.  Americans spend more time working for these worldly possessions on average than we do with our families at home.

Thus, DeliveryMaxx was formed to help businesses, particularly the automotive industry, an opportunity to show appreciation to their consumers for making these purchases.  DeliveryMaxx creates a Social Media Marketing program (SMM) to publically thank their customers on a daily basis.  Included in this marketing program, DeliveryMaxx is able to increase Search Engine Optimization(SEO) value, Online Reputation Management (ORM), and help businesses acquire positive reviews and branding.  The end result utilizing DeliveryMaxx's Images of Success program is an increase in customer loyalty and satisfaction.  This program is truly a complete comprehensive automotive dealership consumer care program.

Founded by Josh Deaton, and James Schaefer, DeliveryMaxx has quickly become a tremendous value to the Automotive Industry utilizing a proprietary system called Images of Success that is able to advertise to the world on how dealerships treat and value their customers.  The results speak for themselves.

Dealerships reported an increase in sales, positive online reviews, higher CSI scores, additional fixed operation revenue, stronger store branding, and a dramatic increase in referrals and repeat business.

Both Mr. Deaton and Mr. Schaefer have served successfully in corporate management in years passed, but each saw a deficiency in the way consumers were acknowledged, or lack thereof, for their business.  In addition to these organizations not providing the level of customer service one should expect, employees did not feel valued throughout the organization.  Before DeliveryMaxx's first client was acquired, the founders decided on creating a best place to work.  That meant allowing employees to have flexible work schedules, and encouragement to put family and public service first.  Furthermore, DeliveryMaxx created a fair wage schedule that allows every employee to be financially rewarded as the company grows.  Each account that is added and all revenue that is earned is shared amongst all active employees.  As the company earns more, so does every employee within the DeliveryMaxx organization.  This concept has empowered every employee at DeliveryMaxx to help make decision that will better serve their clients.

For more information on DeliveryMaxx, visit:

Both Mr. Deaton, and Mr. Schaefer remain steadfast in helping the economy.  They strongly believe that small businesses have a direct effect on employment rate and consumer confidence. Consumer confidence is an economic indicator which measures the degree of optimism that consumers feel about the overall state of the economy and their personal financial situation. How confident people feel about stability of their incomes determines their spending activity and therefore serves as one of the key indicators for the overall shape of the economy. In essence, if the economy expands causing consumer confidence to be higher, consumers will be making more purchases. On the other hand, if the economy contracts or is in bad shape, confidence is lower, and consumers tend to save more and spend less. A month-to-month diminishing trend in consumer confidence suggests that in the current state of the economy most consumers have a negative outlook on their ability to find and retain good jobs.


James Schaefer & Josh Deaton have dinner with Congressman Ralph Hall to discuss the local economy and small business advantages.

Investors, manufacturers, retailers, banks and government agencies use various assessments of consumer confidence in planning their actions. The ability to predict major changes in consumer confidence allows businesses to gauge the willingness of consumers to make new purchases. As a result, businesses can adjust their operations and the government can prepare for changing tax revenue. If confidence is dropping and consumers are expected to reduce their spending, most producers will tend to reduce their production volumes accordingly. For example, if manufacturers anticipate consumers will reduce retail purchases, especially for expensive and durable goods, they will cut down their inventories in advance and may delay investing in new projects and facilities. Similarly, if banks expect consumers to decrease their spending, they will prepare for the reduction in lending activities, such as mortgage applications and credit card use. Builders will plan for the decline in home construction volumes. The government will get ready for the reduction in future tax revenues. On the other hand, if consumer confidence is improving, people are expected to increase their purchases of goods and services. In anticipation of that change, manufacturers can boost production and inventories. Employers can increase hiring rates. Builders can prepare for higher housing construction rates. Banks can plan for a rise in demand for credit products.

Government can expect improved tax revenues based on the increase in consumer spending.

How important are small businesses to the U.S. economy?

Small firms:

  • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
  • Employ about half of all private sector employees.
  • Pay more than 45 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
  • Have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade.
  • Create more than half of nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Supplied 22.8 percent of the total value of federal prime contracts in FY 2006.
  • Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer workers).
  • Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
  • Made up 97 percent of all identified exporters and pro­duced 28.6 percent of the known export value in FY 2004.
  • Small innovative firms produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms, and their patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census; Advocacy-funded research by Kathryn Kobe, Economic Consulting Services, LLC, 2007, Federal

Procurement Data System ; Advocacy-funded research by CHI Research, 2003, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population

Survey; U.S. Dept. of Commerce, International Trade Administration.

How many new jobs do small firms create?

Over the past decade, small businesses created 60 to 80 percent of the net new jobs. In the most recent year with data (2004), small firms accounted or all of the net new jobs. Firms with fewer than 500 employees had a net gain of 1.86 million new jobs. Large firms with 500 or more employees lost more jobs than they created, for a net loss of 181,122 jobs.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census information on employment dynamics by firm size from 1989 to 2004 .

DeliveryMaxx pledges to conduct business ethically, provide opportunities for motivated individuals who desire to make a difference in the world, and create a great place to work.  DeliveryMaxx will continue to provide a great service to companies that wish to grow their business and increase customer satisfaction.  DeliveryMaxx desires to help improve the economy administering these sound principles.