For most, there is a very specific view of how a public relations professional works, perhaps it is one that emulates Olivia Pope from Scandal. Gone are the days of a public relations team swooping in to squash whispered rumors of wardrobe malfunctions/exploding tires/recalled medicines, insert your favorite PR disaster reference here.
Yet, the same overall concepts of PR still exist, such as building brand awareness, maintaining goodwill and managing any crisis that may threaten the brand image. However, the new face of the public relations professional is a digital one. In today’s cyber world, one of the ways that public relations can be managed is through an online program. With specific tools, a reputation manager, can make sure channel partners are communicating the brand's message as well as responding to any consumer concerns.
If you think about it, PR can be used in a very broad sense today as opposed to years ago. Small businesses did not go out and hire PR Firms, that was left for the big boys, and it was a huge industry subset within the advertising world. It still is. But the emergence of digital technologies has created a new meaning of PR for the small businesses of the world. Social Media in itself is the most broadly used PR vehicle there is now. And the issues related to managing PR have created the Reputation Management industry. And yes, we love it! It gives the SMB’s the local voice to get noticed. Whether good or bad reviews, they must be managed, and a brand that offers Reputation Management to their channel partners is providing an invaluable service to them, but also very self serving for their brand. Now they have a way to truly see how their channel partners are not only performing from a sales standpoint, but a brand representation standpoint as well.
The 2014 BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey had some eye-opening revelations of how consumers use online information of local businesses. The findings determined that 88% of consumers read reviews regarding the quality of local business. How do you manage this for your channel partners? By offering PR services such as Reputation Management, it allows your partners the ability to see real life postings and respond to them in real time while they manage their day-to-day business. With this new-found ability to respond to dissatisfied consumers, they can quickly nip negative issues in the bud within a short amount of time, while rave reviews are showcased boosting brand image. Your partners will be able to see rapid effects of the program.
With platforms like SproutLoud, you can get an entire Reputation Management program up and running in weeks. A simple enrollment process that can be deployed across your entire network of channel partners at a very low cost. By offering some incentive co-op dollars can skyrocket your engagement as well. A very low cost for the brand if you think about it. And yes, you both win!
About the Author
Meghan Battaglia joins SproutLoud as a Local Marketing Coordinator. Before becoming a Sprout, she worked in both event management and recruitment, where she ensured that her clients received excellent customer service. On her off time, she enjoys cooking, diving into a book, and battling an addiction to Pinterest. The side effects of the addiction are yummy new treats, but it has also resulted in some stunning DIY Fail disasters.More Content by Meghan Battaglia