When Your Reputation is Trashed
Your Reputation Is Important
Online reputation is a new subject for Law Firm Sites, which is one of the reasons professional people struggle with it so much. There are many ways your company or firm can avoid the pitfalls of online reputation management. In fact, some of these techniques can be used to improve your image and help promote your company and its services before and after an incident of bad publicity.
Stop the Bleeding
Under no circumstances should you or anyone from law firm websites engage an online audience during a period of bad publicity. No posts, no e-mails, no nothing. The reason is very simple. Online audiences are well aware of all the ways they can turn negative and amplify everything you say. Even if you don’t say it publicly. Responding to Internet trolls is like answering questions during a police interrogation. There is absolutely nothing you can say that will help you.
Business as Usual
Hand-in-hand with your no-comment policy should be presenting a business-as-usual image to the world. Your company should be portrayed as positively as possible with an eye towards making it clear the public relations problems are having no effect on your clients, products or staff.
Once it’s on the Internet, it’s permanent. Chasing something on the web is a total waste of time. The best law firm sites mitigate the impact of whatever has been posted by recognizing information on the web has a shelf life of about four hours. There is a very good chance an Internet audience will forget rather quickly if you let them. A better use of your time is to post something positive. Remember, the cure for free speech you don’t agree with is more free speech.
With this in mind, you should immediately start getting positive posts and comments out there about your firm. Every negative remark should be greeted by three positive remarks. Keep this process up for several weeks and it should inoculate your future clients from unfair criticism of your company.
Some of the more motivated trolls may attempt to locate your other accounts and pages on the web. Make sure you change your passwords and keep a sharp eye on your bank accounts, credit cards and any web-accessible memberships or other accounts you might maintain. If any of them have passwords or PIN numbers, change them at once. That also includes for all your social media accounts. If you see unusual activity on your other accounts, report it immediately and use whatever means you can to block those users.
While it might seem the best course of action is to fight for your reputation, the alternative course is better in the long run. Be positive and continue advancing your business as you were before. Eventually the trolls will lose interest and move on to something else.
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