Politicians are usually the target of public opinion, good or bad. Years ago, this was confined to the printed word and word of mouth publicity. Today, they also have to keep track of their online reputation. Anyone with access to a computer and the internet can now express personal opinions anonymously. When this happens to be malicious gossip and the number of readers grows, it can take on a viral nature. This makes it essential for politicians to manage their online reputation carefully as public figures.
Why online reputation management?
If the individual is a political candidate who aspires to win in an election, then Online Reputation Management becomes a vital aspect of the campaign. This has to be done across the internet by monitoring websites, blog sites, forums, message boards, etc. Each time someone posts a negative view on the politician, prompt action has to be taken in defense.
Internet users can easily keep track of public figures online by just keying in their name as the search term. This brings up news from as far back as a decade ago. The problem with this is that, if there is any news that is not in favor of the politician, the search engines will track it, just like they would track the positive information. The largest of the search engines, Google, has a ranking system with content and determines its popularity based on its incoming links. In case, a particular political candidate’s name is linked to many blog posts or other content online, all this will come up in the search engine results.
Obviously, the internet is a powerful place and results based on surveys reveal that at least half the population uses the internet to get news about the candidates. Besides browsing for information, voters also share what they come across via social media sites.
Tips to ensure success through online reputation management
In a scenario where online reputation management is a mandatory activity for the politician, here are some tips:
Posting positive information online
One effective way to push the negative search results farther away is to consistently publish a lot of positive content. This will ensure that search engine results bring up only the good news, while burying the bad content. The good content must be abundant enough to push the negative results as far back as possible.
Setting up a personal website
The politician must set up a .com, .net or .org website in their personal name so that this takes the negative results out of easy reach. It also helps to set up a blog in the candidate’s personal name so that fresh positive content can be regularly posted enabling it come up in the search results.
Setting up a public profile on high ranking sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc is the next step. These sites rank highly in the search engines and index their pages quickly. Once the profile is set up, new content should be added to it regularly. The profile must be set to public so that everyone can see it and see a positive online reputation.
Hiring professional online reputation management services
The political candidate can also hire an ORM services professional who can take the necessary action to ensure that the desired image is projected to the public. ORM services also help pro-actively promote the candidate’s image with the public.
It may not be possible for the political candidate to control everything that happens online but it is certainly possible to take action to make sure that negative search engine results are pushed out of sight. This can be done through online reputation management tools, content and tracking the web constantly.
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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 14th, 2011 at 11:15 pm and is filed under SEO Services. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.