five ways to protect your business's online reputation

Download Five Ways to Protect Your Business's Online Reputation

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Ashley Dobbs, an intellectual property attorney, presented keys ways to protect your most valuable asset, your reputation, in the age of electronic media to the Arlington Chamber of Commerce in July 2013.

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  • 1. Five Ways to Protect the Online Reputation of Your Business Ashley R. Dobbs (703) 526-4701 adobbs@beankinney.com 2300 Wilson Boulevard, 7th Floor Arlington, VA 22201 www.beankinney.com

2. Ashley R. DobbsShareholder at Bean, Kinney, and Korman P.C. 15 years as business and brand marketing consultant and Cruise Director 8 years in legal practice Lead BKKs Intellectual Property practice group:advertising, marketing, brand protection, trademark, copyright, licensing (data, software, trademark, content), sponsorship & merchandising contracts, internet Clients include businesses and ad and PR agencies 3. Overview Whats your brand worth to you? Whats the risk to your business reputation from the wild, wild west of the online world? Five ways to protect that reputation 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.Protect Monitor (good web hygiene) Enforce (smack-down and clean-up) Follow the Golden Rule (dont steal stuff) Choose your battles wisely (online reviews) 4. What is a Brand? Company image Logo / name Promise or unique value proposition Customers' experience and expectations when doing business with your company 5. Why Does Your Brand Matter? Rapid identification in a faster world Create customer loyalty Align and inspire employees Position to sell, franchise, license and expand 6. Why Does Your Brand Matter Online? 85% of executives use social media during a purchase decision (Forrester research) Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted nearly 12 times more than descriptions that come from manufacturers. (eMarketer, February 2010) 53% of people on Twitter recommend companies and/or products in their Tweets, with 48% of them delivering on their intention to buy the product. (ROI Research for Performance, June 2010) The average consumer mentions specific brands over 90 times per week in conversations with friends, family, and co-workers. (Keller Fay, WOMMA, 2010) Source: reviewpro.com 7. Whats Your Brand and Business Reputation Worth? What if you lost 30% of your product sales to counterfeiters? Existing customers? Your pipeline of future customers? Your entire advertising and brand marketing budget for the year? Revenue from your content? 8. Whats the Worst that Could Happen? Deceitful paid search ads Misleading websites, diverted traffic Lost sales, counterfeit goods Damaged reputation Study of sports jerseys looking at one league, 28% of ads were suspicious, with 11 million annual visits redirected from legitimate seller to probable counterfeiters 9. What Can You Do About It? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.Protect Monitor Enforce Follow the Golden Rule Choose your battles wisely 10. Protect How do You Protect Your Brand? ORIGINAL WORKS NAMES SLOGANS 11. Protect Ensure and secure ownership with work for hire agreements with independent contractors and license agreements with trademark users Use and and TM Use defensive strategies: Watermarks Widgets / java script Low res imagesSource: istockphoto.com 12. Monitor Practice good web hygiene Google alerts and simple searches News media, social mention apps, etc. More complicated automated search options Brand monitoring services Establish a baseline Implement routine searches and maintain records Dedicated responsibility with a strategic plan, not haphazard 13. Enforce Be willing and able to enforce your rights against domain name squatters, misleading key word and paid advertising, and other infringers Cease and Desist Letters UDRP Complaints DMCA takedown notices Focus on actual infringement 14. Follow the Golden Rule Respect others copyrights and intellectual property Educate your marketing team Written agreements with photographers & website developers Pay licensing fees or use free stock photos 15. Dont Sweat the Small Stuff: Kitchen and PR NightmaresSource: eater.comSource: buzzfeed.com 16. Choose Your Battles Wisely : Online Reviews Free speech vs. defamation (opinion vs. facts) Anonymity and free speech (Yelp subpoenas) DMCA protects hosting sites, not individual posters Double-edged sword the Streisand Effect Personal, timely responses and excellent customer services Business ways to beat bad news: online reputation services, increased coverage of other items, blogging, updating your website, press releases, ask good customers to post with positive reviews BUT no sock-puppets or astroturfing! 17. Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of -- for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. Socrates 18. Ashley R. Dobbs, Esquire Bean, Kinney & Korman, P.C. 2300 Wilson Boulevard, 7th Floor Arlington, Virginia 22201 703-526-4701 adobbs@beankinney.com www.beankinney.com