E-reputation needs ethics

Facing the incrreasing importance of social medias, enterprises have to manage their reputation fields and on a scale that are really new to them. They can either do it by themselves or hire external professionals who’ll put use knowledge and expertise of this new market to help businesses. There’s nothing really ne here.

But some promises are made to novice enterprises often leave me doubtful.

• “Eliminate negative contents”

I’d like to know how such a miracle can be made. Of course, if any content is defamatory and is a clear attempt to harm a company’s reputation, it’s a legal issue and the old good recipes may apply. But what to do with it’s an argued publication, relying on tangible facts ? Discuss, explain, negociate ? Why not, and it may work. But there is no way to promise the content will be deleted when it’s not reprehensible on a legal point of view. Maybe some think of threats and pressure, what is the best means to get the opposite of what’s expected and is the evidence of a lack of ethics if such means are used without telling the enterprise how the promised results would be pursued.

• “Generation of positive contents”

If negative contents can’t be eliminated, diluting them in an ocean of positive contents may be a good option. So, why not, provided things remain objective. But the danger of attempting to distort the reality is actual. I recently heard an employer brand director saying that businesses have to be cautious and not oversell there message if they want to avoid viloent backfires. But what to do if a clients asks his service provider to insolently lie ? Tell him that he should use criticizes to improve his product that if their client or their company sucks, social media won’t fix it ? Or say “Sir yes Sir !” ? I know many people that can have the first discourse but I’m also worried that many may choose the second.

Let’s be clear : disguising reality to show the best possible image does not bother me at all : that’s call advertisement. On the other hand, when these methods are applied to things such as reputation, where trust and transparency matter, that’s nothing but theft. Any professional who forgets to explain that to its clients commits a professional fault, nothing ing less.

Anyway, when advertisement and reputation are confused and the methods of the first applied to the second, the price is often high for the customer. Businesses have to do both but  should also avoid confusion.

Communication, e-réputation, marque, marque-employeur, medias sociaux, publicité

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