Skip to main content

Über dieses Buch

Managing Online Reputation is a comprehensive look at online reputation management. Drawing on recent examples of organizations managing their online reputations effectively and ineffectively, it provides a practical and visual tool-kit of processes and techniques to help limit and respond effectively to negative situations on social media.



The New Abnormal

Chapter 1. The New Abnormal

I write this book in an office with a birds-eye view of the Occupy protests in Hong Kong. Far below, a multi-colored tented village strewn with umbrellas, agitprop and Post-it Notes nestles uncomfortably between anonymous, glass skyscrapers. The days are eerily quiet. Steel and wooden barriers keep the traffic at bay while students at makeshift classrooms pore over accountancy manuals and medical histories, their movements tracked by the police, a phalanx of journalists, and gaggles of bemused tourists. It could be a scene lifted from a J.G. Ballard dystopia.
Charlie Pownall

Understanding the Threats


Chapter 2. Defining Online Reputation Threats

On November 22, 2011, Qantas took to Twitter to ask:
“Ever wanted to experience Qantas First Class luxury? You could win a First Class gift pack feat. a luxury amenity kit and our famous QF PJs.”
“To enter tell us What is your dream luxury inflight experience? (Be creative!) Answer must include #QantasLuxury”
Charlie Pownall

Chapter 3. Strategic and Financial Threats

The Dawn of Glad Tidings is an app with a difference. Freely available on the web and Google Play, “Dawn” keeps its users up-to-date on the latest news from IS (Islamic State). It also automatically posts content in their names, peppering volleys of tweets, hashtags, and images to their followers and beyond, each volley programmed to be posted sufficiently far enough apart to avoid Twitter’s spam detection software. Dawn’s users are IS’ propaganda foot soldiers, helping their master get its message out online and the group’s advances are accompanied by waves of thousands of tweets showing jihadists brandishing the group’s black flag.
Charlie Pownall

Chapter 4. Social and Environmental Threats

In September 2011, not long after receiving USD 45 billion in US government bailout funds and two days before controls on debit transaction fees in the US were about to take effect, a memo disclosing that Bank of America (BoA) was on the verge of slamming a monthly charge of USD 5 on its local debit card customers was leaked to the Wall Street Journal. The news led to a huge outcry, prompting a number of newspapers to advise their readers to switch to better alternatives and to two back-to-back online campaigns organized by irate customers that culminated in an estimated 600,000 people transferring around USD 4.5 billion from BoA and its main street retail counterparts to community and credit unions.1
Charlie Pownall

Chapter 5. Behavioral and Legal Threats

Companies that behave badly or break the law have long been the stuff of media and public fascination. Often difficult to detect, it took time for the full extent of a problem to become public. However in today’s ultra-transparent and networked world fraud, bribery, corruption, discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and other forms of inappropriate or unethical behavior are much harder to hide and when discovered spread like wildfire. A study by law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer found that news and commentary about crises stemming from behavioral issues spread faster online than any other type.1
Charlie Pownall

Chapter 6. Operational and Technological Threats

In April 2014, US Airways publicly asked a customer asking for her feedback after she had experienced a delay at Portland International Airport. Unfortunately the customer service representative attached a lewd picture of a naked woman in a compromising position with a model airplane to the tweet. Immediately the internet erupted, some in fury but most in embarrassment and amazement. Many speculated about what could have happened. Was an irate employee getting his own back? Had the airline been hacked? The truth was more prosaic — a member of US Airways’ social media team had been trying to flag the picture as inappropriate in its social media marketing management system but had mistakenly included it in his response.
Charlie Pownall

Managing Incidents


Chapter 7. Formulating the Right Response

Despite your best efforts to be fully prepared, sooner or later one of your products is going to prove faulty, your customer care team will mishandle a complaint, a colleague will do something silly on Facebook, or an important blogger will say something unpleasant or untrue about your company. If you’ve prepared properly chances are you will be able to sort out these kinds of problems before they flare up into more serious incidents or even, God forbid, crises.
Charlie Pownall

Chapter 8. The Furious Customer

However good your products or services are, there are going to be times when things go wrong. Your product is faulty, your customer service slips up, your online booking engine develops a glitch, or a customer is underwhelmed by what she thought was going to be a truly unique and special experience. These are facts of life even for companies known for treating their customers superbly.
Charlie Pownall

Chapter 9. The Rogue Employee

Like it or not, employees have always been able to hurt their employers. Confidential documents are exchanged for brown envelopes. An internal memo is leaked to a journalist, access to the deeper reaches of the company IT system is passed to a third party, someone conducts an unauthorized or illegal trade. Deliberate actions of this kind can be extremely damaging, raising serious questions about an organization’s leadership, culture, and values. Fortunately, they have also been relatively rare.
Charlie Pownall

Chapter 10. The Committed Activist

The fortunes of big pressure groups such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Amnesty International have been transformed by the internet and by social media, enabling them to recruit supporters and mobilize opinion on a scale and with a precision never previously possible. Once largely restricted to physical protests and email campaigns, they can now make life extremely awkward for organizations in their sights by drawing on an infinitely expanded toolbox of online hoaxes, spoofs, petitions, video, and hijacks. With companies under increasing pressure to associate themselves with public issues and most using digital channels to market their wares, the weak spots in the corporate armory have expanded enormously.
Charlie Pownall

Chapter 11. The Hostile Journalist

Dealing with journalists has always been a dicey business. You have little idea where they get their information from, are unsure about the nature of their agenda, and have little control over what the article they are writing is going to say. And then the facts of the article may be wrong, the context skewed, you are misquoted and, if you are lucky enough to get a public retraction, it is usually buried at the bottom of a page that few people read. And now you have to deal with web journalists and bloggers pumping stuff out as quickly as possible, unconcerned about the facts and with little interest in publishing corrections.
Charlie Pownall

Chapter 12. The Backfiring Campaign

Just as the social web is a powerful opportunity for marketers and communicators to reach and persuade people of the merits of their products and services, it can also be a double-edged sword that results in your carefully crafted efforts being sliced apart in full public view. Of course, some campaigns set out to cause controversy; a thick skin goes with the territory. Benetton’s 2011 online Unhate ad campaign promoting “a culture of tolerance” and intended to “combat hatred around the world” featuring the Pope kissing an Egyptian imam may have scooped the Grand Prix at the Cannes advertising festival but it also resulted in an uproar amongst religious groups, condemnation by the Vatican and White House, and led to the image being withdrawn. 1 But it had achieved what it set out do: generate press coverage and digital ink.
Charlie Pownall

Handling Crises


Chapter 13. The Changing Face of Crises

Every now and again something will go very badly wrong — one of your planes disappears, your factory catches fire, foreign ingredients are discovered in one of your best-known products. Unlike many of the incidents we saw in Part II, problems of this magnitude can paralyze senior leadership and severely impact the inner workings of your organization. They may also draw the attention of regulators and politicians, each with the power to put you out of business.
Charlie Pownall

Chapter 14. Preparing for a Crisis

You could be forgiven for not knowing about Fonterra. After all, the company was only formed in 2001, the result of a merger of three of New Zealand’s biggest dairy co-operatives. A private entity, it is also New Zealand’s biggest business and the world’s largest dairy trader, accounting for around 30% of the world’s milk, butter, and cheese exports.
Charlie Pownall

Chapter 15. Responding to a Crisis

On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 vanished into thin air. As I write this book, the plane is still missing and there is no convincing explanation as to what happened. Like many others, I found out about the tragedy on Twitter. The news-wires and Malaysian media were running the plane’s disappearance, people were talking about it online, and #PrayforMH370 was starting to trend. The internet was awash with nervousness and speculation, morphing over the hours and days and weeks into a cacophony of bewilderment and despair as the flight’s trajectory was plotted and re-plotted and theories and counter-theories ran wild.
Charlie Pownall

Chapter 16. Recovering from a Crisis

Several weeks after the disappearance of flight MH370 the plane was still missing, families of the passengers and crew remained camped out at Kuala Lumpur and Beijing airports, passenger numbers had collapsed, and the company’s share price was badly holed. Desperate to get the story off the front pages, the airline and the Malaysian government could only sit and watch as the search operation dragged on and rumors circulated about what might have happened.
Charlie Pownall


Remember the national tourism board that figured a good way of persuading tourists and businesspeople to visit its shores during a terrorist insurgency was to bury negative news on search engines and replace it with positive online views? The one that wanted to “create barriers to any future negativity relating to the security issues and any other crises,” in short, to make it harder for negative opinion to be published and, if it did make it online, to limit its visibility and traction?
Charlie Pownall


Weitere Informationen

BranchenIndex Online

Die B2B-Firmensuche für Industrie und Wirtschaft: Kostenfrei in Firmenprofilen nach Lieferanten, Herstellern, Dienstleistern und Händlern recherchieren.



Entwicklung einer Supply-Strategie bei der Atotech Deutschland GmbH am Standort Feucht

Die Fallstudie zur Entwicklung der Supply-Strategie bei Atotech Deutschland GmbH beschreibt den klassischen Weg der Strategieentwicklung von der 15M-Reifegradanalyse über die Formulierung und Implementierung der Supply-Rahmenstrategie. Im Mittelpunkt der Betrachtung steht die Ableitung und Umsetzung der strategischen Stoßrichtungen sowie die Vorstellung der Fortschreibung dieser Strategie. Lesen Sie in diesem Whitepaper, wie die Supply-Strategie dynamisch an die veränderten strategischen Anforderungen des Unternehmens angepasst wurde. Jetzt gratis downloaden!