SARASOTA, FL / ACCESSWIRE / February 17, 2022 / In a case of mistaken identity, "Leslie"* was arrested for car theft in Philadelphia.
At first, she laughed because she knew it was a case of mistaken identity and she was innocent of any crime. And sure enough, her innocence was proved and her name cleared after a few weeks. But in the midst of the process, due to the fact that arrests are public information, the arrest bearing her name was printed online.
As a mom and teacher, the issue affected her career and her personal life profoundly for years to come, despite no wrongdoing on her part. She lost chances for professional advancement, lost friends and had no way to fight back to restore her reputation despite her innocence. And she was not alone in suffering the stress, the pain and the loss that commonly occurs when reputation information - especially incorrect and damaging information - is posted on the internet.
Research shows that online reputation directly affects relationships and stress levels. Lead by companies like NetReputation.com, Online Reputation Management (ORM) is a relatively new field that works to change the way a person (or a business) is perceived by others when searched for on the internet and social media.
Individuals like Leslie are not the only ones seeking help from NetReputation.com in the ORM space. Healthcare professionals, business owners, and others who depend on their online reputation to grow their client base are especially affected by stress associated with negative reviews and other information that can cause a downturn in business.
A 2017 guide from John Carroll University revealed that many professionals struggle with the ethical dilemma of whether to respond to negative information online. Professionals dealing with negative online information find that responding is a double-edged sword. When they protest negative reviews, they come off to potential clients as defensive, and risk driving business away. When they don't respond, they risk potential clients taking negative information at face value-which may push them to choose someone else.
Professionals aren't the only ones negatively affected by their online reputations. Corporations may also struggle financially once their reputation on the internet begins trending down. The good news: in many cases, the issue can be remedied with positive information. A 2019 study from the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management showed that hotel financial performance is far more dependent on the information in positive reviews than the information in negative reviews.
Industries dealing with COVID-19 related supply chain issues are also facing unique challenges related to their online reputation. Companies are forced to make a choice: do what's best for long-term business (which can involve passing delays onto frustrated customers) or work to cut corners in an effort to avoid negative reviews. A 2019 study on the effects of online reputation in the logistics field stated that many researchers believe "company reputation is an intangible asset" and the loss of a positive online reputation "often has disastrous consequences for the company in the form of business activities termination."
The results of the research is clear: poor ORM can have devastating consequences both for stand-alone professionals and for corporations. The vast majority of people lack the skills to effectively manage their reputation on their own. Utilizing the services of a professional ORM company like NetReputation.com is more vital to business success in 2022 and beyond than ever before.
* Name changed to protect anonymity
Founded in 2015 by Adam Petrilli, NetReputation.com is an award-winning pioneer and leader in Online Reputation Management (ORM). The company offers leading-edge ORM solutions for individuals and businesses including reputation analysis, negative content suppression, optimization and removal, brand promotion and protection and privacy protection. For information, visit www.netreputation.com, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NetReputation/, YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsKeTTdDpWu7oF9PzzU2TMQ, Twitter at https://twitter.com/netreputationand LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/netreputation/
About The Author
Amanda Turner, M.Ed., is a writer and former therapist who studies the connection between online reputation and mental health. Her experience in the education, fitness, and medical industries provide a unique perspective in understanding how consumer opinions expressed online can affect business growth.