Avoiding Fraudulent Reputation Management Companies
If you’ve been in business long enough, there’s a good chance that you’ve been contacted by reputation management companies who may have dug up even minor issues in your personal life and are offering to remove them from websites. It’s a rather unfortunate truth that there are a lot of scams out there, and people who will use the general unfamiliarity with the Internet that many others exhibit to try to take their money through complex blackmail schemes. It’s important to know what you’re looking for in order to find online reputation management services that you can trust.
Red Flags from Reputation Management Companies
There are a few things you absolutely should look out for when it comes to dealing with reputation management companies. While many are entirely trustworthy, the untrustworthy ones often mark themselves out in a number of ways.
Perhaps the most common thing to watch out for is being approached by a company claiming to have found a particularly bad piece of information about you on a random website and offering to get it “removed” via some vague process for a flat fee. The Internet is enormous, and that somebody who happens to work in this just stumbled upon damaging information stretches credibility. In most cases, the company in question put up the website themselves and is blackmailing you. Far too many people pay for the initial service, then find another company making the same claim about a new website a few months later. If they call you with damaging information, there’s a good chance they’re the perpetrators.
Another thing to look out for are claims of being able to “erase” information from the Internet. That isn’t how websites work, and no company is powerful enough to remove all references to an incident or particular pictures so that they will be inaccessible forever. Pie-in-the-sky claims are often the mark of a scam.
What to Actually Look For
Instead, look for online reputation management services that will be straightforward with you. You want people who can tell you what is and is not possible, who will lay out specific plans to handle bad publicity and encourage good reviews. They are not there to fight for you, they’re there to help you avoid fighting in public where even defending oneself in the wrong way can look bad.
This is part of the reason why you also want, if possible, to find a company with extensive experience that can use their knowledge to your benefit.
Here at RepManagement.com, we advise you to deal with reputation management companies that will be open, transparent, and inclusive about what they are doing for you. If they shut you out, stay away.