How do British businesses rate their online footprint?

A recent report gives an interesting insight into how British businesses prioritise their online footprint.

Discussing how businesses have become more focused on their online coverage, Caroline Skipsey, co-director of Igniyte, says, “In the last 12 months, we’ve seen more and more clients looking for help promoting branded content. PR is no longer just about coverage – it’s about authoritative coverage – will the piece rank online? Is there an audience who will share? A desire for volume (in terms of pieces of coverage per month) is being replaced with a need to be present on sites/media that will boost a client’s digital profile in a positive way.”

Discussing how negative online coverage is becoming more of an issue to brands, Skipsey says: “If they haven’t been affected already, they worry it could happen in the future. That’s why they’re prioritising attempting to control content online and investing in building robust online reputations. More than half of those we spoke to had already been affected by bad reviews, malicious comments and mis-judged social media posts. Another one in ten hated the way their brand was portrayed on the first page of search results, but two-thirds didn’t know what to do.”

“Whilst brands have long been aware of the need to engage in the digital space – working hard to create conversations and impact – now that they are there, exposing themselves to public view and controlling what’s being said is proving tough. Perhaps that’s why a further one in five say tackling negativity has become the focus of their online strategy – ahead of winning followers, generating sales or raising awareness. Ten per cent are calling in external experts to help, especially when it comes to tackling legally dubious or sensitive content, and PR professionals need to ensure they are there too, to support clients whenever they need it.”

Skipsey offers five tips for creating positive reputations online:

  • Take control. Make digital assets work for brands in search engines – the more content they produce/own the more control they’ll retain.
  • Listen. Set up alerts to monitor what’s being said about brands.
  • Think legal and check the small print. Refer to Ts and Cs, check the right to have things removed on websites, and set privacy settings on social accounts.
  • Be self-aware. Review how clients communicate with others.
  • Check rankings. Will that great coverage produce great online results?

Futher information

The report was commissioned by Igniyte and conducted by survey company One Poll. It surveyed 500 business owners and higher decision makers across the UK in June 2014. Click here to download Igniyte’s Guide to Building Your Reputation Online.

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