Reputation management, at its very core, is the mitigation of what people are saying about you and how you are being perceived by the general public. So what happens when you are unable to keep this under control?
As we all know, word can spread relatively fast and before you know it, you’re hiring a PR person, an expense completely out of your budget.
So the question is: is it easier to recover your reputation or to maintain it?
Well, let’s liken this to a more relatable example. You have a small, single-family home. You and your spouse work Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM, leaving little time to clean up the house. So you resolve to hire a maid once a month. Housekeeping services can range anywhere from $75-$200, depending on the size of your home.
Let’s say you select a maid service that charges $100 per cleaning. So you’re looking at $100/month and $1200/year. (That’s if you don’t tip your maid around the holidays).
Now, let’s look at an alternate scenario. You and your spouse work Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM, again, leaving little time to clean the house. However, in the mornings you find you have a few extra minutes to tidy up the house a little bit. And at the end of each workday, your spouse has about a half-hour or so to do the same. You spend about $30-$50 on cleaning supplies every other month, running up a grand total of $300/year max. (And you don’t have to tip anyone.)
So you tell me, which one do you think is better? Sure, one is more convenient and costs less. But then you live in the filth until your maid service comes around. Whereas, if you had just been cleaning a little bit here and there every day, there would be no need to hire a maid to clean up such a mess.
So really, it’s all dependent on what you consider to be the most cost-effective and convenient option for you. However, keep in mind that the negative words that stay out in the open before you’ve had a chance to “clean them up”, so to speak, can cause irreparable damage. So more realistically, it would make the most sense to stay on top of your online reputation at all times, instead of only addressing it when you feel there is a pressing need.