Amid all the other pressures that your organisation may have undergone over the last few years – brought on by factors ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to the cost-of-doing-business crisis – proactive reputation management might not have been at the very top of your “to-do” list.

Indeed, reputation management may not have been one of your uppermost priorities even before then. After all, there may have been plenty of other day-to-day tasks to be tackled that related more closely to your core business.

Some business owners in 2024 might even be tempted to imagine there isn’t much need for a proactive approach to managing their own company’s image. Even if, for example, someone on a social media site said something negative about their business, wouldn’t a merely reactive approach be enough?

Our short answer to that question is: no. Below, we have outlined some of the reasons why a reputation management strategy should still be regarded as crucial for your business this New Year.

  • The ‘old’ threats to reputation haven’t exactly ‘gone away’

When a lot of people think of the term “reputation management” these days, they are immediately put in mind of something like a dissatisfied customer leaving a negative online review of a business, and that business responding by attempting to smooth over the situation with the customer.

Given that businesses of basically all sectors, shapes, and sizes have been operating in an extremely online-oriented world for decades now, you will probably be very familiar with the above threat. But it isn’t the only old threat to brand reputation that still exists.

A competitor of yours, for instance, may decide to get aggressive by attacking your company in various places online. Or a disgruntled former employee may do the same.

Even if your company hasn’t had much trouble with risks like the above in the past, this doesn’t mean you are immune to such dangers arising in the future. Having a proactive reputation management strategy in place can therefore help save you a lot of stress and hassle if the worst does happen at some point in the coming months and years.

  • The reputation management landscape has arguably become more, rather than less complicated

So, we have addressed relatively “old” threats above… but what about “new” threats? By this, we are referring to some of the issues that are particularly inherent to the early-mid 2020s.

As we touched on at the top of this blog article, a lot has happened to put businesses under stress in recent years. And developments such as the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), unstable geopolitical situations around the world, and other political, cultural, and social issues such as the climate crisis, could present reputational risks to your business that you haven’t thought about much until now.

One reason why some small businesses haven’t paid much attention to reputation management in recent years, is arguably because many of them presume it is only really a big issue for the largest, most public-facing corporations.

However, in many respects, this simply isn’t true. It might only take an ill-judged Facebook post about a current “hot topic” in your brand’s industry or the broader political landscape, for your business to be thrown into reputational turmoil. Or, as we have also referenced in this piece, the reputational crisis could be largely prompted by an outside source, such as a rival.

In summary, then, the need for your company to be proactive in how it manages its reputation – both online and offline – remains very real in 2024. Indeed, this need might be greater than it has ever been, in light of the constantly evolving threats to the reputations of brands like yours.

Would you like to learn more about how Jumping Spider Media’s own knowhow in online reputation management can help your small business take control of its image this year, and for months and years to come? If so, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us today, whether by email or phone.