I’m becoming a regular reader of the Quirk blog (and not just because of their recent SEO article). Here is a piece on ten practical steps a company can follow to survive an “online brand attack”. It reminds me of a time at a conference when a guy from Absa asked me — “What’s the point of trying to respond to bloggers, because people like to complain and they complain before they compliment.” Yes, there is some truth to that. It’s a human condition: You rarely praise when things work and the wheels turn, but when something breaks down — god help that helpdesk.
However, it is important for a company to respond. They should manage their reputation online otherwise one day they’ll wake up and find that in the online-immersed world of the future where the web is the medium of transacting, they’d have amassed so much negative sentiment online that it’s too late.
So give the “10 Rules to Recover from an Online Brand Attack” a read. It’s by the Quirk MD Rob Stokes, who I had the fortune of meeting the other day (sharp guy). He points out, among many other things, that companies should act and respond with humility, keep negative pages out of search engines, maintain communication with the user and that they should listen and respond, by engaging a blogger or website owner or commenting on their blog. Makes sense to me.