I can remember only a few years ago, if a company was letting an employee go or the employee left a 2 week notice, most employees would try to leave on good terms so they can use the company as a reference. There was not much of a benefit for the company to â€œtake careâ€? of this leaving employee. My, how things have changed. Enter the bloggers.
When was the last time you went to Google, Yahoo, and MSN and searched your first and last name and your companyâ€™s name? You may be unpleasantly surprised. If one of your employees has a personal blog or forum they post on, a simple statement like â€œI worked for -insert your company name here- and they suck becauseâ€¦.â€? can end up being on the first page of some of the top search engines.
Sometimes these small posts go away fairly quickly, sometimes you may need to initiate reputation management.
Here are some helpful steps to clear your name:
- Complete an exit interview with your employee. See if the employee is disgruntled and why. You may be able to prevent the post beforehand.
- If the post is up, you can try to get a hold of the blog/forum owner and very kindly ask if they can remove the post.
- Wait a couple of weeks to see if the post ends up losing its rank and falls to the 2nd or 3rd page of the engines. This may happen with low volume blogs/forums.
- If it is a well known highly used blog/forum you may have to create highly targeted, SEO friendly, websites, blogs, and articles with the goal of pushing the negative posting down to the 2nd page. Do not add these sites/blogs just to add them. These sites/blogs need to be highly relevant and each must have unique content. All normal SEO guidelines must be followed, including linking. You can do this on your own or hire a company, like Fortune Interactive, to perform this for you.
With the number of blogs increasing daily, I see reputation management increasing in demand. If you do not have an issue now, set your calendar for monthly checks and be prepared.