As a follower of reputation and builder (I like to think) of the importance of reputation in the world of business, I come across new sites on the topic all the time. A site called Reputation Repair Services caught my eye. If it were only this simple. This company promises it can help with finding you an Internet lawyer, cease and desist notices, copyright and trademark infringement notices and domain dispute lawyers. It can protect your reputation by improving search engine suggestions, create positive blogs, good reviews and more. [This company says that they have been around for many years and the alert below is from their site.]
There are various packages ranging from $500 per month and upwards. For $500/month, you get site evaluation, keyword research, five promotional pages and content that are optimized by the online company, full site optimization, inclusion in reciprocal linking systems and search engine submissions. You can move up from this minimum service fee (with an 8 month committment) to $750 per month service. The additional fee provides you with a shared techie “live” and at your service who is devoted to your reputation until the negative information no longer appears on page one of Google. And onward and upward.
I have no doubt that there are people who want negative information about themselves or their company deeply buried or removed from the Internet. I am not sure however that this takes care of the hard work of reputation building which almost always involves creating high quality products and services, engaging in corporate citizenship, ethical behavior, financial soundness, innovation and leadership development.
Oops. If you are also worried about your CEO’s reputation, they can help you too. Any CEO missteps can be wiped off the face of the earth. As Reputation Repair reminds us, “A CEO’s reputation is directly linked to the reputation of the company. The CEO is the face of the company and a leader who provides direction and inspiration.” These words sound familiar since I have written about this topic for years.
I often wonder if these online reputation repair and protection sites can help you build reputation faster by damaging your competitor’s reputation instead. If I wanted to do some harm, maybe I should just spread rumors about my toughest competitor and get that on page one of Google. Could I find someone to do that? I doubt that it is easy to find companies willing to compromise themselves but this has crossed my mind. Might be less expensive.
All this is to say that online reputation management is important but if this is all that is done to build enduring reputations, this is a short-lived proposition. True reputation management deserves more consideration, planning, depth and years of hard work.