Reputation is everything. It can make or mar a person or organization. It is of great importance that nothing be left to chance when electing to hire a reputation management company. It is better to have one in place than to hurriedly search for one when things may have gone from good to bad.
With this necessity in mind, these are the things to look out for before hiring one.
A. GOOD KNOWLEDGE OF THE INDUSTRY: The company to be hired must prove to have a good knowledge of the industry. It just does not make sense if a customer has an issue that needs to be resolved only to realize that the person tasked with offering a solution does not know as much as the customer does. The job of the reputation manager is to straighten things for the person or organization that they work for, and not to be overwhelmed by the customer, or any third party for that matter. So if you are in the music industry for instance, there is no point in hiring a reputation manager from an oil downstream sector.
B. ONE WHO CAN SEE THE WHOLE PICTURE: The company should be one that can cover every area required. A company that can be able to read the consequence that may follow any given action. In other words, they should be proactive. They should not be seen reacting to events that occur, but should be able to create a desired outcome. Managing crisis should be a secondary function. For instance, if a press release is supposed to be made, the reputation management consultant should have an idea what message is about to be released to the public and suggest corrections where necessary.
C. ABILITY TO READ BETWEEN THE LINES: There are times when people say something and mean something else. It is the duty of the reputation management company to be able to read between the lines. If a customer for instance is angry about a particular service, the customer may rain insults at the reputation manager. Reputation managers who know their onions will realize that the insult is not really directed at the company; rather they are the ones the customer is seeing and can vent his anger on. One that can read between the lines will not bother about the insult, but consider ways to tackle the real issue that got the customer upset in the first place.
D. PASSION: There should be an element of passion while discharging their duties. They should weigh each option with the same amount of care and concern. There is no point in being alert to certain situations and then being lukewarm in another. Regardless of the task involved in maintaining the reputation of the person or organization that hired the company , the reputation management company should have the same amount of passion.
The Reputation Management Company has to have these attributes in order to be hired. Anything short of this means that caution is not being taken. The last thing that is needed is to try repairing a reputation when there is an ample opportunity to build a favorable one.