Message Management

In her most recent email newsletter, Nancy Schwartz offers “3 Proven Ways to Make an Impact When Message Control Is Out of Your Hands.”

We all know that managing your online reputation is not an option, but a necessity.

First, it is critical to monitor all possible channels, all of the time. The internet functions 24/7, and you need to know what is being said and when.

Remember clipping services? They sent us hard copies of any newspaper articles that mentioned our companies or industries, or clips from radio and TV broadcast. Schwartz notes that it may now be even more important to “capture print and broadcast coverage of your organization. But what’s equally – if not more – important now is capturing all the online conversation and comments on your org – on websites, Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other channels.”

For nonprofits, Schwartz offers WeAreMedia.org as a source for managing social networking. Their web site provides a number of tools and resources that are generally valuable to the for-profit world as well. Their social media toolbox is user-friendly and very specific.

Automating the monitoring process begins with setting up Google Alerts. This allows you to request updates on coverage of keywords and phrases of interest or significance to your company, your competitors, or industry.

Twitter and Technorati also provide information on what your online reputation looks like. It’s important to visit these sites several times a week to ensure that you are aware of current tweets or blog posts.

Schwartz also suggests that you check your organization on Wikipedia. I looked up several companies where I know IABC Philadelphia members work, and there was extensive information on all of them – key management listed by name, company products, legal issues, financial data, etc. Was it accurate information? Did the messages align with what corporate communications has so carefully crafted? Since your company’s Wikipedia entry can be edited from a variety of sources, it is critical that one of them be from your company. And you will need to check the entry at least every two weeks, to view any changes. Register as a contributor; this allows you to make edits anonymously.

Tools such as Bloglines allow you to read key content from a variety of blogs, and a number of websites, without having to go to each individual blog or site.

Managing the message is more challenging than ever, but using the proper tools and taking a few minutes each day can help protect your company’s online reputation.

To view Nancy Schwartz’s blogs and other materials, please go to http://www.gettingattention.org or http://nancyschwartz.com.

Amy Blake has over 25 years of experience as a communicator and creative professional. Her firm, Blake+Barancik Design, provides marketing communications services including strategic planning, writing, graphic design, Web site development, and project management. Her clients include major utilities, healthcare organizations, non-profits, and professional service consultants.

Amy can be reached at floret55638@mypacks.net or at 215-588-9190.

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