Live from #seschi 2011: Brand Resilience and Reputation Management in a High-Speed World

By Avelyn Austin | Nov 17, 2011
More Articles by Avelyn


Professional, fun, and embarrassing … it’s all out there. So what do you do to manage your own brand, let alone your whole company’s brand.

Find out what speakers Jonathan Copulsky (@jcopulsky), Principal of Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Tony Wright (@Tonynwright), CEO of WrightMC, had to say about this topic.

Jonathan Copulsky (@jcopulsky), Principal of Deloitte Consulting LLP, kicks off the session with High Speed Sabotage: Brand Defense in a Digital World. Copulsky begins by giving us examples of many brands that have seen great decreases and brand crises that have come from one individual: Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen, Gilbert Gottfried, etc. which led Copulsky into his major speaking points.

Guerilla attacks against a brand come from all fronts.  Here are some examples:

  • Brand ambassador loses credibility
  • Customer complaints through Facebook
  • Employee creates viral video
  • Outsourcee uses illegal components
  • Saboteurs hijack social media
  • Product defects cause personal injuries

Learn from the experts.  A few books recommended by Copulsky:

  • The Art of War
  • Carl von Clausewitz: On War
  • Counterinsurgency Field Manual - Why should brands care about counterinsurgency:
  • You may not realize when your brand is under attack
  • Conventional responses may be misguided (too much response may not be taken well)
  • When it comes to building a resilient brand, the winner is the one who adapts and learns more quickly
  • The most effective weapons are not necessarily those aimed directly at the brand saboteurs
  • If a tactic is effective in this market, it might not work in the next – effective leaders avoid complacency

Copulsky’s 7 Steps for managing brand risk and recovery:

  1. Plan: Assess Brand Risks: The Enemy Within + Beyond Your Borders
  2. Prepare: Galvanize Your Brand Troops (employee policies/guidance)
  3. Prepare: Deploy Your Brand Risk Early Warning Systems
  4. Execute: Repel the Attacks on Your Brand
  5. Execute: Learn and Adapt Your Brand Defenses
  6. Execute: Measure and Track Brand Resilience
  7. Execute: Generate Popular Support for Your Brand Resilience Campaign
Tony Wright (@Tonynwright), CEO of WrightMC, spoke next on Proactive Reputation Management. Tony jumped right into the information, and I apologize if the information is jumbled below, there was a lot of great information that came at us fast! But first:
  • Understand why people are complaining online.
  • Understand why people listen to online complaints: Users put great trust in their social networks, 90% of people trust reviews given by people they know and 70% of people trust reviews given by people they don’t know.
  • Why should you care? Because a lot of people are creating content.

Understanding the landscape – Where is the content located?

  • Blogs
  • SERPS
  • Reviews
  • Message Boards
  • Hate Websites
  • Twitter
  • Location Based Sites (Foursquare, Gowalla)
  • Social Bookmarking Sites
Monitoring the Landscape: Monitoring technology has not kept up and no tool gets it all, so use a few. Examples: Andy Beal Shout out for Trackur!, Radian6, Mutual Mind.
Starting to monitor when the crisis hits is like: “Eating healthy during a heart attack.” You’re too late.
Suggested ways to be proactive:
  • Social Media Policies/Guidelines for what employees can and cannot post (Who should create the policy? HR, legal AND definitely MARKETING together).
  • Employee Education: Show all employees how their actions effect the brand. Show them the positive and negative reviews. Reward employees who are mentioned in positive reviews.
  • Review Strategy: Your online reviews should not be perfect. Strive for 70% positive to 30% neutral or negative. Deal with negative reviews offline when possible.
  • Ask for your satisfied customers for reviews! Don’t be pushy, but do ask. Understand where your reviews are showing up and where people are looking for them to determine where you want your customers to post their reviews.
  • Influencer Indentification and Outreach: Invest in good tools to identigy inflencers. Try to speak with influencers offline.
  • Be Part of the Conversation: Don’t just talk about your company, be subject matter experts.
  • Your Brand Should have a Plan: Involve marketing, IT, Upper management, crisis consultants, HR, unions (if applicable)
  • What to consider? Online and offline, MONITORING, mock scenarios, technical execution of responses, response responsibility, Do you know your search results before the crisis?
Crisis Evaluation. I unfortunately couldn’t grab all the information on crisis evaluation for this live blog, but the point that I liked most was:
What is a crisis to the CEO may not really be a crisis – Tie the CEO up in the corner!
Don’t let branding get in the way of a good reputation (Let people use your logo if they are providing good information about your company).
Thank you to both Copulsky and Wright for a great first session on Day 3 of #seschi 2011!

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