Managing your company’s reputation online

Reputation and technical PR
Building a reputation. Building, see?
The saying goes that it takes years to build a reputation, and only seconds to destroy it irremediably. This is true for both individuals and organisations alike, but apart from managing your outbound communications, what else can companies do in order to ensure that their image does not suffer?
  
Online presence is one of the most important reputation building tools engineering companies have. As a result, your website or blog should be managed accordingly. This article on the Vocus blog explains how businesses can make sure that they do not fall foul of plagiarism when adding content on their blogs or websites.

From an academic perspective, plagiarism has been around for centuries and the laws regulating it are strict and widely recognised. However, when it comes to lifting online content, plagiarism rules are perceived to not apply to the same extent.  Perhaps this is because if people don’t physically come into contact with something, then the concept of stealing that something doesn’t exist for them?

In today’s rapidly changing online environment, lifting content, photos or videos from other authors seems to have become the norm. However, the same plagiarism rules do apply.
Companies need to bear this in mind at all times and ensure that they don’t fall victims to plagiarism. One way of doing this is to always verify the source of your story and link to it (if such a page exists). If not, try your best to indicate whose idea or article you are quoting, so that good practice is maintained at all times.

Also, when it comes to photos or any other visual material, company bloggers need to make sure that they do not infringe copyright laws; if a photo can be reproduced for free, but requires author’s permission or attribution, then this should be acquired before posting the image on your website. If it needs to be paid for, you should pay for it!
 
Lastly, the viral nature of the online environment means that if caught, news of copyright infringement will propagate at the speed of light and thus translate to reputational problems for the company. It’s a minefield, but one that you can navigate with care. 

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Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oana Baetica - Technical PR consultant

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

1 comment:

Frank Strong said...

Hi Rich, thanks for mentioning the Vocus blog and continuing the conversation.  It's an interesting discussion.  I've heard technical SEOs say that scrapers that repost content can actually be beneficial by expanding the digital footprint.  On the other hand, like you suggest here, it's a bit taboo.  I'm not sure how the law differs from the US vs. the UK, but I understand the laws are more stringent in the UK.