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Manage your online image

October 28, 2013

“America’s Funniest Home Video” has provided an opportunity for the general public to laugh at the antics of small children, goofy grandparents and funny animals.

With the Internet, this type of video is available instantly through myriad online portals. Your business, regardless if you are on the Internet or not, can be directly affected. What are you doing to manage the reputation of your business?

SAN ANGELO, Texas — “America’s Funniest Home Video” has provided an opportunity for the general public to laugh at the antics of small children, goofy grandparents and funny animals.

With the Internet, this type of video is available instantly through myriad online portals. Your business, regardless if you are on the Internet or not, can be directly affected. What are you doing to manage the reputation of your business?

This article will explore basic suggestions from two reputation managements firms, Brand.com and The Kinzey Co.

An online article by Brand.com President Michael Zammunto, “Guard your Online Reputation,” offers small-business owners three pieces of advice.

First, never ignore the Internet.

You may not do any business in an online format, but your customers and competitors are online seeking information about you. It is your responsibility to be sure your reputation isn’t smeared by an unhappy customer! Zammunto suggests you Google yourself and your company. Not just one time, but on a recurring basis to double check what others are seeing.

Secondly, you need to understand what you can control and cannot control on the Internet.

You can work to control your ranking on Google by posting informative, useful content that helps your customers.

“Share your expertise and make yourself a trusted resource for your customer. It may take a bit longer, but the results will be worth your effort,” Zammunto said.

Guarding your own reputation is the third piece of advice.

Zammunto suggests, “There are many free tools available to track you and your company’s reputation: Google Alerts, TweetBeep, Maymz, Social Mention and MontorThis.”

Zammunto cautions against the use of dubious tactics to flood the market with positive comments as search engines can recognize this ploy and send your information to the bottom of the rankings.

The Kinzey Co. provides assistance with reputational and communication challenges and can help customize strategic solutions to help you reach your corporate/organizational vision.

Ruth Kinzey, company president, PR expert and author, will be in San Angelo on Friday to teach a seminar, “Because Everyone Is Watching.” The seminar is designed to assist business owners and organizations in learning how to seize opportunities to enhance a reputation and how to be prepared to protect it!

“A positive reputation must be built strategically, protected fiercely and enhanced whenever possible,” Kinzey said.

Kinzey will identify techniques for building your organization’s reputation as a leader, innovator or exemplary employer. She also will share important crisis preparedness tips, including crisis mitigation and techniques for dealing with the media. Major public relations nightmares such as criminal charges levied against one of your employees or a major supporter speaking out against your organization’s long-standing civic project will be discussed. Plus, she will address social media’s impact on an organization’s reputation and provide suggestions to help you better leverage this communication tool.

Kinzey’s presentation is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to noon at the ASU Houston Harte University Center, Room 211. Fee for the seminar is $25, and interested people can register with the following sponsors: ASU Small Business Development Center, 325-942-2098; Chamber of Commerce, 325-655-4136; or United Way, 325-949-3716.

As you grow your company, the ASU SBDC has a plethora of skills and information to support you. Contact us at 325-942-2098.

“Business Tips” was written by Peggy Rosser, Rural Business Development Specialist and Certified Business Adviser IV of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact her at Peggy.Rosser@angelo.edu.

© 2013 San Angelo Standard Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 

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    Peggy Hodges Rosser, Business Development Specialist and Rural Business Manager

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