Has anyone ever called you by the wrong name? Did you feel misrepresented, like they didn’t really know you? When it comes to your brand’s “good name,” it is a much bigger deal.
A “good name,” or reputation, is one of the most important things an organization can cultivate. It is more desirable than great riches, because it has to be earned. When a crisis takes place, riches can’t always reverse the good will (or lack thereof) of your company’s name.
Every Organization Has An Online Presence
Every organization has an online presence, whether it’s created by you or others. Even if you have never set up profiles on social media or listings on directories, there is a digital conversation happening right now about you.
Positive comments from past constituents. Negative stories from former partners. These can paint a picture of your characteristics beyond what you share about yourself. And a vacuum – or absence of conversation about you – could be just as influential.
The “Word Of Mouth” Of Yesterday Is Now “Word Of Reviews”
Over the past couple of years, some surprising statistics have come out related to monitoring an online presence. About 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses. The majority of consumers are going to be looking at reviews about you on Yelp, Facebook, Google, or e-marketplaces.
Unless you’re responding to these reviews, the words that make up your name are all written by other people.
Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews to know if they can trust a business. Whether it’s a business or a non-profit, potential customers are going to look for what other people are saying about you before they start a relationship. If you only have a few negative reviews, that’s what people will think of you. If you have none, they won’t know what to think.
According to another study, 91% of 18- to 34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The adage used to be, what’s the best way to get new business or build trust with the public? Word of mouth. These days, it’s the “word of reviews.”
Online Presence Is Necessary For Your Non-Profit Too
A non-profit is not just a place to donate money. It is a public service to the community. And it’s wholly dependent on its reputation for generating funds and offering its services.
From streaming meetings or community events, to sharing stories on social channels, non-profits have become more reliant on the digital world to build and maintain its name.
You can find comments about non-profits on YouTube, through Facebook groups, and Nextdoor. And write-ups on personal blogs or guerilla news sites. Non-profits should ignore these online conversations at their own peril.
Should You Respond Immediately?
The good news about all these digital conversations? It’s never been easier to broadcast your message. If you’re proactive and consistent, you can protect your name and control its reputation.
One of our clients recently found their organization being trashed on social media. Their initial reaction was: “We must respond immediately and rebut all the negative comments.”
Instead of the performing arts group immediately over-reacting, we worked with them on a strategy that allowed them to resolve the issue effectively and appropriately. It is in these situations that you must have self-control and a trusted ally to help weigh the pros and cons of potential responses.
The Importance of a Level-Headed Ally
In a crisis situation, the world may feel like it is crashing down around you. It is in the moments when you need to bring in an expert who has led organizations through those crisis moments and calmly respond.
You need counsel to keep a level head more than ever, and that is what we provide. We’ll come alongside you in those moments of crisis to help you respond to your situation without adding more damage and bringing it to the best possible resolution.