Issue: Right now, your organization's public image may be under attack on Web sites, chat rooms and blogs.
Benefit: By putting out such brush fires before they rage out of control, you'll make recruiting easier and impress the top brass.
Action: Regularly Google your organization's name and look into online services to see what's being said in cyberspace.
Feel like someone's talking about you behind your back? You're probably right.
As the Internet grows, more employers are falling victim to ill will online. And they don't even know it.
People use blogs to smear ex-employers. Customers write on Web sites scathing reviews of your products. Competitors slam your organization in discussion groups.
How can you best monitor all that chatter? One way is to regularly Google your organization's name and product names. But search engines won't catch everything.
Another option: online media monitoring services. They can give you daily access to updated news about your company, your competitors and your industry. Expect to pay anywhere from $35 to $350 each month.
By uncovering attacks or false rumors, you can react and recover fast. And, on the flip side, you may hear good things said about your company, which can generate testimonials. Some of the best monitoring sources:
- eWatch (www.ewatch.com) provides daily monitoring of print and online media, plus blogs, discussion areas and portals.
- CyberAlert (www.cyberalert.com) monitors news outlets plus consumer "buzz," including specific customer discussion boards and related blogs.
To explore other monitoring services (including those with more specialized content focus, such as Hispanic news sources or geographic-based monitors), check out a list at www.medialinks.info/links/Services/Media_Monitoring.
Shopping tips: Such services vary greatly in quality, so always ask for a trial run. Gauge effectiveness by the scope of sources searched and the speed with which you receive feedback (daily is best). Look for flat-fee charges, not per-clip pricing.