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Online Reputation Manager

An Online Reputation Manager (ORM) aim to influence their client's reputation online in accordance with the wishes of the client.

An Online Reputation Manager (ORM) aim to influence their client’s reputation online in accordance with the wishes of the client. The clients can be individuals as well as companies and other organisations.

Some clients keep and ORM on retainer to continuously manage their online reputation, while others seek out the aid of ORMs only for time- or scope-limited tasks. It is of course very common for clients to contact an ORM after something scandalous has happened that needs to be managed, or when something from their past is threatening to harm the reputation they are seeking to maintain at this conjunction of their lives. ORMs can also be enlisted when someone is venturing into a new career and feel that certain aspects of their past or present might need to be managed to not interfere with these planned endeavours.

Examples of aspects of online presence that can require managing:

  • Search engine results
  • Social media
  • Review sites
  • Discussions in online forums
  • Hostile websites
  • Records available online

Search engine results

A key aspect of Online Reputation Management is to manage the results that appear when relevant searches are made in major search engines

Example: When an online search is made for the individual Barbara Ellington Bruce, several of the results on the first result page involve a DUI incident that took place a few years ago. Mrs Ellington Bruce finds this embarrassing and she also worries that it will diminish her chances when applying for new jobs within her chosen field. She therefore hires an online reputation manager and gives him a very specific task: get all the references to my DUI away from the first result page in Google and Bing when someone searches for Barbara Ellington, Barbara Bruce or Barbara Ellington Bruce.

This aspect of online reputation management ties in closely with general search engine optimization (SEO). One of the easiest ways of getting Barbara’s DUI away from the front page is to create other web content about her and make that better optimized for searches that involves her name. This can for instance involve a personal website, her blog about Burmese cats, a well-managed LinkedIn profile, and so on. The ORM can also elect to do certain optimization work regarding pages that Barbara doesn’t control her self, e.g. that article in the local newspaper about her charity work or that page where a short-story written by her has been published.

Social media

Social media have the potential to make or break a person’s online reputation, and a skilled online reputation manager will know how to tweak the various outlets. The approach is often multi-pronged and involves tasks such as:

  • Controlling settings on he client’s personal social media accounts, e.g. regulating who can tag the client on Facebook, who can see the client’s private Instagram feed, who can read and re-post the client’s Twitter posts, and so on.
  • Create social media accounts that will be open to the public and display things there that are in line with the client’s desired persona and reputation.
  • Manage how the client interacts with other profiles in social media, e.g. when it comes to linking on Facebook, loving on Instagram and commenting on various platforms.
  • Create desirable content intended to “go viral” on social media platforms. This is especially popular among clients that are organisation rather than individuals.

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