THE MAGAZINE

Reputation Protection

By Holly Gilbert

“We’ve been successful; we’ve taken down well over 7,000 sites,” says Widup. What’s more, Purdue Pharma refers information to federal law enforcement and criminal prosecutors, says Widup.

MarkMonitor also assists by sending notice to the site, or sites, ripping off a client. “We can automatically fire off an enforcement notice, whether that’s a cease and desist letter, whether that’s a notice to the particular platform that’s hosting those listings,” says Te Smith, vice president of communications at MarkMonitor. “And then of course we can follow up on those enforcements and make sure that they’re actually carried out.”

Fighting the problem online is especially challenging because counterfeiters are adept at marketing their ersatz goods. They use online marketing channels, paid search ads, and social media postings. Counterfeiters use the same best practices that legitimate online marketers do, Smith says.
RepTrak. The Reputation Institute takes a more holistic view towards reputation management than the other two services discussed. It works with large businesses globally on building and maintaining reputation through its patented system called the RepTrak model.

“If you talk about measuring reputation, it’s actually pretty simple,” says Kasper Nielsen, managing partner at the institute. Nielsen explains that identifying who the stakeholders are for any given company is the first step to that reputation measurement. “In today’s world, we know that for companies to be successful, they need support from their different stakeholders,” he says. While that differs in some ways for each company, key groups that generally matter include employees, customers, local governments, the investor community, and the media.

After identifying the stakeholders, the company holds focus groups and conducts other types of interviews to gather data to apply to the RepTrak model. It asks four basic questions: Do you trust the company and to what extent? Do you admire and respect the company? Do you have a good feeling about the company? Do you think the company has an overall good reputation?

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