A few months ago, The New York Times published an article on the growing services that manage clients’ reputations and information on the internet. Thank you Jesse Jackson Jr. for boosting an already growing field and creating jobs for thousands.
In working with doctors especially, this issue has become the big pink elephant in the room. Recently I had an experience that brought this all to light: In searching for clients, I’ll often plug their name into a Google search just to see what comes up. On this particular day I was targeting a few Ob-Gyn practices in my area, doctors that I’ve known for years who I’d worked with in my last incarnation.
In the medical field in particular, online review sites have become fast, furious and powerful. They overshadow and outrank even the most sophisticated of medical practice websites, and often one will have to sift through 12 or 13 before getting to a website, if in fact there is a website at all. (Another story for another day.)
This doctor was a pioneer in his field, was known for his cutting edge Vitamin D testing long before Vitamin D deficiencies became a buzzword and for years had a great reputation and was very difficult to get an appointment with because he was so in demand. No more. One look at the organic search engine results and it was clear that the online review sites had this doctor by the jugular.
The very top of the search engine’s review did not even need clicking into — it was on the face as clear as day, calling out to all who might be searching for a good Ob-Gyn in their area, or who may have been referred to this particular doctor and just needed to check him out online first. Ouch. Not anywhere close to good. As the adage goes: one bad review can skew 100 great ones. This doctor needed damage control in a big way.
Make sure you are aware of the review sites in your particular field, both business-to-business and business-to-customer. Place yourself in these directories and encourage clients/customers to go there and write a good review. Also, creating a Google Alert account is an easy way to track what the internet is saying about you or your company. Best of all its super easy and its free. All you have to do is go to Google. com/alerts.
So let’s say we wanted to track each time somebody posted something on the internet about “Reputation Management Omaginarium” or “Omaginarium Reputation Management.” All we would need to do is add this to our Google Alerts. Each time this phrase was listed on a website, news, video or blog, Google would send you an email and let you know where the term was listed. Protecting your reputation has never been more important. At the same time, make sure you are adding good content about your business and getting it out there on a regular basis. PR Underground is great for that. You may not be able to totally erase the bad press and reviews but surpressing and replacing it is very do -able. And while you’re at it, Google yourself every now and then. It’s just as important as running a credit check on yourself!