Two sides exist to the tale of every person. There is the real person and then there is the perception the public has of an individual. Sad to say, not all perceptions are correct. Negative commentary about a person’s character or professionalism could very well cause all manner of problems. Careers could be very negatively impacted for sure.
This is why business owners and entrepreneurs must control the messaging currently existing on the internet. That isn’t always an easy task. People can publish pretty much what they want on the internet. When it comes to reviews, the limits to what a reviewer publishes remain narrow. Unless someone commits a serious and egregious act of libel or defamation, reviews casting the subject in a negative light stay published. Bad reviews are protected by the first amendment. People read them. They gain a perception about the subject, which can be unfortunate.
Two Sides to the Story
What makes things so frustrating to someone who has been tarnished due to a bad review is his/her side fails to be highlighted. Why would a bad reviewer play devil’s advocate and provide excuses for a business owner? Even more annoying is when the bad review exaggerates a situation or leaves out pertinent details.
Certain resources provide an opportunity to rebut negative reviews. Doing so definitely is recommended. Only rebutting a review and doing nothing more, however, would be a serious mistake. Other steps of online reputation management work should be performed.
Managing a Reputation
Online reviews along with blog posting and comments on websites find their readers due to the readers searching the internet. The search engines facilitate the means in which people find things online. Adding to the search engine results may change perceptions. Few people expect a business to receive 100% good reviews. If all they see are negative reviews, then they draw an obvious negative perception.
Adding a number of positive articles to the search engine results potentially impacts perceptions. Unfortunately, hoping customers choose to write several good reviews usually means waiting in vain. Instead, it may be a better move to request new content be commissioned to add positive material to the search engines.
The content doesn’t need to be limited to good reviews. Publishing detailed accounts of the company’s history or highlighting charity work performed in the business’ name helps. Any positive search engine content should help sway opinions as long as the content reads well.
The Job Requires a Professional
Any poorly-written material won’t exactly change opinions. Content of low-quality nature comes off as fake and unimpressive. Ironically, such work would lend credibility to the negative content. Hiring a professional service capable of producing equally professional material must be a priority.
Solid reputation management professionals do exist and they can assist those struggling with unfair reviews and search engine results. Delays on hiring a professional team would not be in the best interest of anyone unnerved over the troubling material. The quicker a reputable service goes to work on fixing things, the quicker the negative impact diminishes.