Live from Digital East: Online Reputation Management

By Renee Revetta | Oct 18, 2010
More Articles by Renee

Today I’m here at Digital East and started off the day with the online reputation management session with Chris Condayan (Manager, Public Education, American Society for Microbiology), Dallas Lawrence (Contributor, &, Managing Director of Burson-Marsteller’s Proof Integrated Communications) and moderator Kathy Baird (Senior VP & Partner, Fleishman-Hillard). The session started out with some tried and true examples: Comcast Frank/ComcastCares, Domino’s, United…then got into the nitty gritty – tools, strategy, and crisis communication.

The panelists recommended the following listening and monitoring tools:

No/little budget:

The panelists still said that there should be a large human component to any online reputation management program. They also made a distinction between active listening and overall brand listening. Knowing how many tweets are going out per minute and that 85% of them are negative isn’t active intelligence for your brand. That’s just the starting point. Monitoring tools that provide actionable intelligence are best. What are people actually saying about you?

How do you respond once you know who is talking about your brand?

With negative criticisms

  • Contact online via the same platform,
  • Then provide immediate offline contact (email, phone call) to solve the problem

With positive comments

  • Respond, but you don’t necessarily need to respond to each individual post
  • Be appreciative and share their messages


The panelists disagreed on this one. Some said monitoring is the first place to start always, and others said internal goals & objectives should be identified before monitoring. They agreed that regardless of if you’re engaging, you should be monitoring.

Overall, you need to know what people are saying about your brand online. There might already be existing conversation out there about you, your competitors, and your industry that you’re not aware of. Have a plan in place, and always over communicate in a crisis.

To close, Dallas Lawrence shared 3 social media facts to shock un-social brands:

  • 2/3 of those on the Internet using social media
  • 150 million people on Facebook in the US
  • 25% of those on Facebook spending more time on Facebook than watching television

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