I write this the day before the 2016 presidential election, a process that will be remember for it’s mean-spirited attacks, vulgarity, and mendacity. We feel forced to choose between two lousy options.
Indeed, when it comes to reputation management, both Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump get poor marks. Both are disliked with a vehemence rarely seen, even in politics.
Many people are so disgusted they choose not to vote. Who wants to claim responsibility for electing either of these people?
But this is a shallow excuse suggests that we should seek – or deserve – perfection. The truth is there has never been a perfect president or any other leader. Nobody is flawless, not even religious leadership. The scandals, weakness, and mistakes crack the leader’s image, and we recoil in shock as we learn the truth. Leaders from centuries past are held in a better light, but few presidents of the past would last under the scrutiny of today’s profit-focused, scandal-obsessed media.
Your Business Reputation
Something similar can be said of most businesses. When you work in an organization of any size, you see the warts. There has never been any flawless business, and like politicians, many businesses of the past would wither under today’s online reviewing, relentless researching consumer culture.
Reputation management isn’t about trying to project perfection. The best businesses embrace reviews – even the bad ones – and take them as feedback they can use to improve their service. Their main focus is doing work they are proud of, that will generate well-deserved, positive reviews.
Reputation management isn’t about trying to create a facade of perfection. It’s about making efforts to create a well-deserved positive perception, and tracking what’s said about you online to make sure nothing outright false is hurting you.
There is probably no content, in fact, where it’s more important that you be authentic. An online review profile that’s eerily glowing will be met with suspicion. There is nothing worse than getting caught faking it, trying to appear better than anyone ever actually is.
We continue to see this mistake in politics. The politician covers-up their malfeasance, only to have the cover-up be worse than the crime.
The same is true of online reviews. Remember that reputation management software is not used to create fake perfection. Rather, it’s used to emphasize the truth: that you’re very good at what you do, and when you make a rare error, you correct it.