Daniel over at Reputation Advisor slightly beat me to the punch earlier this week with his excellent article about why you should keep a reputation manager on a retainer.
In the article he compares Reputation Monitoring with Insurance. I have had this article in my draft posts for a while now, just trying to think up one more reason! (On a less than serious suggestion, we vetoed "You can signup online - :-)")
So without further ado here are my reasons why monitoring your reputation is like insurance.
1. Just like insurance, monitoring what people are saying about you is something you only realise you need to do once it is too late. If you aren't insured when the disaster happens you don't get paid. If you aren't monitoring what people are saying and something negative spreads round the internet it is too late. 2. A small monthly investment could prevent huge costs. Monitoring your reputation doesn't have to cost anything. Google alerts allows you to track what is being said about you. Obviously we believe the small investment in our Reputation Monitor is well worth it for the time it saves you. The point is though that the small cost is nothing compared to the potential cost of repairing a brand should you miss something that damages your brand. As an example Yahoo Finance are reporting that the damage to Sony's brand has cost them $500 milllion in one quarter - Found via - if you have any other examples, I'd love to hear them (please leave them in the comments) 3. It gives you peace of mind and helps you sleep better - If you don't have to stress about what is being said behind your back you can remove a whole pile of stress - helping you to a better nights sleep
##3 Reasons why monitoring your reputation is better than insurance
1. Monitoring what people say about you has benefits even if a disaster never occurs - If you go a year without claiming on your insurance that is a year's worth of premium that gave you no tangible benefits. Where tracking what is being said online differs is that you get benefits along the way.
1. It helps you engage with people who are talking about you, which in turn helps to build your brand.
2. It helps to find people who talk about you, but don't link back to your website. Tom has written about how to use our Reputation Monitor tool as a link building tool
2. Insurance is normally protecting something tangible - How much is your brand worth? Unlike a car, or an aeroplane your brand doesn't have an easy to calculate value, but damage to your brand will result in loss of business. How much you lose obviously depends on the scale of the disaster and the value of your brand.
Finally (and in my opinion the most important)
3. Monitoring your reputation gives you the chance to avert the pending crisis - Stretching the insurance analogy to its limit, tracking online mentions is a bit like a burglar alarm. If you know what is being said about your brand it is possible to step in and prevent negative press doing much damage. Reputation Management, done well means you never have to cash in your insurance policy.
So coming back to Daniel's post, I completely agree. Everyone should at the very least be monitoring what is being said about them, and anyone who can't afford to risk runing their brand should have a Reputation Management company on a retainer. Not only can they help to avert a disaster, but they can help to build your brand.
If you aren't monitoring your reputation why not give our Reputation Monitor tool a go. There is a no obligation free trial and cheap monthly payments after that.