For the last few months The Heavy Chef Project team has been hard at work demystifying online reputation management (ORM) to marketers – and with great success I might add judging by interest from our readers.
And with our Heavy Chef Events on this particular topic around the corner, we’ve been noticing increased queries around the role of PR agencies in assisting with the management of brands in the online space? A relevant question indeed.
UNDERSTANDING PR AGENCIES EXPERTISE
At it’s core Public Relations (PR) agencies focus on building relationships; now if that is true, one has to admit in a world where relationships and networks are increasingly empowered through the power of the web, there has to be a very prominent role for PR Agencies to play in particularly managing brand relations with their customers online.
Furthermore, PR agencies skills can be found in:
- Clear understanding of clients business (incl. tone and style of a message)
- Ability to craft and spread a message through a mix of media
- Extended media networks to leverage
- Management of crises
- A profession ethos of acting quick and nimbly
More skills can be added to this list for sure; clearly a nice alignment with ORM is evident.
THE BAD NEWS
Unfortunately, the above-mentioned skill-set does seem to be true mainly in theory. The general sentiment that I’ve picked up is that PR agencies are stuck in the old mindset of sending out press releases to mainstream media based on a rationale of stats and demographics – and particularly applying these same methods of communicating to the online space. Essentially, as Valeria Maltoni puts it “PR is having a hard time letting go of the pitch“.
Other criticism leveled at PR Agencies aptitude to add value to the social web include:
- Lack of understanding of the social media environment
- Balancing social media strategy with appropriate tools
- Overall technology savvy of the average PR practicitioner
- Inability to measure return on investment of engagement
- Lack of clear processes and systems in dealing with conversations online
Needless to say, a lot of these items aren’t unique to PR agencies – however are still key in evaluating there ability in dealing with brands reputations online.
ORM’s success lies partly in choosing the right monitoring technologies to pick-up mentions and conversations around your brand. However, the biggest distinguishing factor in optimising ORM for your brand lies in what you do with those mentions and conversations.
With that in mind, I believe PR agencies can have a huge role to play in looking after your ORM – but only if they a) invest in understanding the tools and measurement metrics around ORM; and (most importantly) b) stay true to their belief in the process, management and, ultimately, the value of relationship building online.
- Online Reputation Management Tools: The good, the bad and the ugly
- Online Reputation Management vs. Brand Awareness
- Online Reputation Management – Advantages & Disadvantages for your companyhttp://www.heavychef.com/online-reputation-management-advantages-disadvantages-for-your-company/
- How is the proliferation of mobile apps affecting online reputation management?
- Ensuring Online Reputation Management isn’t a waste of time