How Political Reputation Management Works
Political reputation management is a tricky game. You might think you know what people are saying about you, but you don't always know how much truth there is behind those rumors.
In some cases, you might even want to hear the worst possible things being said about you. In others, you'd like to make sure that no one ever says anything negative about you again.
The good news is that politics isn't just about elections anymore. Now is the time to take action if you've got a great idea for a nonprofit organization, a great product for a small business, or a great book to write.
You can start building your brand today.
What is online reputation management?
Online reputation management is the image people have of you online. This includes things like reviews, comments, ratings, mentions, etc. Reputation management is about managing how people view you online.
Let's break down reputation management into two camps.
The first is reputation management on search engines, such as Yahoo!, Google, Bing, etc.
The second one is reputation management in social networks.
The first one takes care of the search results when someone types your name in the search box.
For example, no politician would want to see some scandalous event from when they were 18 in the search results. People might think something negative about them.
Reputation management on social media is different. Social media is where people interact with each other. If someone writes something negative about you, there's nothing you can do about it. You're just going to have to deal with it.
How does reputation management work?
Reputation management is a complex topic that involves many different aspects. This article focuses on the most important ones: monitoring, reacting and creating. Monitoring refers to keeping track of what people are saying about you online. Reacting means responding to negative comments and correcting misinformation. Creating includes everything else, such as building relationships with influencers, writing articles, etc. Finally, there is SERM, which stands for Search Engine Reputation Management.
The first step in reputation management is monitoring what people say about your brand online. There are several ways to do this, including social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite, Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and Google Alerts. These tools allow you to set up alerts that notify you whenever someone mentions your brand name or keywords related to your industry. You can even use these tools to determine how much traffic certain posts receive.
Once you know what people are saying about yourself, it's time to respond. If someone comments on your brand, you can either ignore it or reply directly. However, if someone continues to make offensive statements, you might want to block them. Blocking is similar to blocking someone on Instagram, except you don't have to explain why you did it.
Now that you have responded to negative comments, it's time to start improving your image. One way to do this is to build relationships with influencers in your niche. Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular because it allows brands to reach audiences that wouldn't normally see their products. For example, if you sell dog food, you could partner with a local pet store owner to promote your product. Once you establish a relationship with an influencer, they might write a blog post about your brand, mention you in their social media posts, or give you free samples.
Online reputation management: How it works for politicians
Political reputation management is a tricky game. You don't want to alienate people who are important to you, but you also want to keep power to those who might use it against you. There's no single way to play this game; every candidate must find their path. But some general rules of thumb apply across the board.
The first rule of political reputation management is that it takes place outside politics. This isn't about changing what voters think about politicians; it's about changing how they see themselves. If you're trying to make yourself look good, you'll do better focusing on your charitable work, volunteerism, and community involvement. Voters aren't looking for a politician; they're looking for a person. They want to know what makes you tick.
Next, you must understand that most people won't change their minds. People need to change their opinions more easily. When we hear something negative about ourselves, our natural reaction is to defend ourselves. We tell ourselves stories about why we did what we did and try to convince others that we didn't mean it. We often believe our lies even more strongly than we believe the truth.
This dynamic plays out in politics as well. Politicians rarely admit mistakes because admitting mistakes is giving away power. Instead, they blame the media, they blame their opponents, they blame their friends, and they blame God. You can always maintain control of your image if you keep blaming someone else.
Finally, remember that everyone already knows everything about you. Everyone knows where you live, where you went to school, what you studied, what you've done since college, and whether you've ever been arrested. Most importantly, everyone knows what you stand for. Your job is to figure out what you want to say and then figure out how to say it so that people will listen.
Political reputation is deeply influenced by confirmation bias.
The political world is full of rumors, gossip, and innuendo. We hear things like, "I heard that..." or "My friend told me..." But how much truth is there behind those stories? What happened? And what did the person involved mean? These questions are especially relevant during election season.
In fact, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, people tend to believe rumors more readily than facts. This phenomenon, known as confirmation bias, occurs because we seek information that supports our opinions and ignore information that contradicts them.
This effect is even stronger among partisans. When it comes to politics, we are far more likely to accept information that supports our party affiliation. For example, studies show that Republicans are more likely to accept Republican talking points while Democrats are more likely to accept Democratic talking points.
How does confirmation bias play out in real life? Consider the following examples:
- During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly claimed that Hillary Clinton had been responsible for starting the deadly terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya. However, Clinton never took responsibility for anything related to the attack, and the Obama administration later concluded that protests against an anti-Islamic video caused the violence.
- In October 2017, President Trump tweeted that he fired FBI Director James Comey over his handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server. However, Comey testified under oath that he was dismissed because the FBI probed into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
- In November 2018, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders falsely stated that the president had called for NFL players to be fired for kneeling during the national anthem. In reality, Trump had criticized athletes who kneel during the anthem, but he had never called for anyone to lose their job.
Political reputation digs deep.
In 2016, Donald Trump became president despite having no political experience. He had never held elected office, nor did he even serve in the military. But his campaign team knew exactly what they wanted to do. They ran a well-oiled machine that included some of the best political strategists. Their goal was simple: win. And they did.
The problem was that once Trump won, things got messy. His administration began to look into the backgrounds of those around him. This led to the discovery of many skeletons in the closet. Some of these skeletons were real, and others were fabricated. They shook people's confidence in Trump and his leadership ability.
This is why we're seeing such a big push now to dig deep into candidates' personal lives. We learn about their financial dealings, marriages, divorces, children, health issues, criminal records, drug use, and much more.
We are finding out what makes them tick.
In political reputation, small things become big things.
The 2016 presidential campaign season was a whirlwind of activity. From Donald Trump's controversial comments regarding women to Hillary Clinton's emails, there was no shortage of controversy during the election cycle. But what happens once the dust settles? What are people talking about now?
In the aftermath of the 2016 elections, we found just how much attention politicians receive. We looked at everything from the number of mentions each candidate received on Twitter to the number of times each candidate was mentioned on Facebook. And while most candidates had a lot of coverage, some did better than others.
We found that the most coveted candidates were those who ran against each other. For example, Bernie Sanders received nearly twice as many mentions as Donald Trump, despite running against him. This was true for both Republicans and Democrats. However, among Democratic candidates, Joe Biden received almost four times as many mentions as Bernie Sanders.
This isn't surprising, considering he was the front-runner throughout the primary process. He also won the nomination. So, it makes sense that his name would be brought up more frequently.
But what about the rest of the field? Did anyone else stand out? Let's take a look.
Political reputation is explosive.
A candidate's reputation may dive and soar in fast succession during an exciting election time, depending on how well they perform during the campaign.
Timing is everything, and political PR agencies will carefully prepare and release damaging information about a political opponent just when they deem the time is right.
Reporters, commentators, pundits, and the general public respond with an effusion of commentary, shares, likes, re-tweets, and other social and search engine signals.
Algorithms respond by lifting the information to the top of search engine results pages, especially in the more fluid parts of the SERPs like the local knowledge panel, news results, and other features that Google displays around the traditional organic results.
The reputation of politicians depends more on up-close-and-personal social media reporting and news coverage than on historical search engine optimization techniques.
Political reputation controls everything to do with human emotion.
The most shareable bits of information are those that evoke strong emotional responses. This is why political PR agencies attempt to provoke a reaction in the reader, whether it be anger, sadness, fear, disgust, etc.
For example, consider the recent controversy surrounding President Donald Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. He initially blamed both sides for the deadly protests, saying there were some very fine people on both sides.
This statement sparked outrage among many Americans, particularly white supremacists, who felt he had given legitimacy to neo-Nazis.
In addition, his comments about removing Confederate statues led to widespread criticism.
As a result, Trump's approval rating dropped to 35%, according to Gallup.
According to research by the Smithsonian, anger travels the farthest and fastest of all emotions. Nothing is faster than rage.
Political reputation takes timing.
In politics, reputation is everything. A politician's reputation is what people think of them. Reputation is how you're perceived, whether good or bad.
A politician's reputation is fast-paced and always evolving. Doing it right takes a lot more work than most realize. But there is a reason why politicians spend so much time preparing for every single press conference, speech, debate, and interview.
And that release is usually carefully timed.
Because we are familiar with political reputations, we've seen this play out incredibly.
In one instance, a politician spent three months crafting a search engine reversal - one in which up negative info about his opponent and positive info about himself using SEO. He even had a plan B ready just in case he failed.
Although preparation took nearly a quarter year, the bomb was dropped just weeks before the election.
Political reputation should address the right audience.
If you are looking for unbiased reporting, it might help to know what media outlets people like you consume. A recent study published in the Journal of Media Psychology found that people who identify themselves as liberal are more likely to read stories about politics and current events from online publications such as HuffPost and Vox.com, while conservatives prefer mainstream news sources, including Fox News and CNN.
The researchers conducted three studies to determine how readers' political leanings affect their reading habits. They asked participants to complete surveys about their political views and then looked at their Facebook profiles to see what news sites they liked. In one experiment, participants were told to imagine they had just been hired by a fictional company called "NewsCorp." Participants were then given a list of newspapers and magazines they could choose from. Those who identified themselves as conservative chose more conservative publications, while liberals picked up more liberal ones.
In another experiment, participants were shown a list of news organizations and asked to pick the ones they preferred. Liberals tended to favor left-leaning news outlets, while conservatives favored right-wing ones. And finally, participants were asked to look at a list of news organizations again and select those they wanted to receive emails. Conservatives chose fewer news organizations than liberals.
These findings suggest that people use political beliefs to guide their choices when choosing news sources. But there are some caveats. For example, the study didn't consider whether people were already familiar with a particular news organization. Also, the researchers didn't ask participants to think about their political affiliations outside the survey context. So, we need to determine if people's political preferences influence their decisions to read news articles based on personal biases alone.
However, the study does provide evidence that people's political viewpoints impact their decision-making when selecting news sources.
Political reputation spreads through social networks.
The idea that people are getting their information from one source is outdated. It's possible to find out what someone knows by looking at where they got their knowledge. This is especially true now because we live in a world where everyone gets their news from multiple sources.
In 2016, Pew Research Center found that 65% of Americans use Facebook daily. And while most of us know how to navigate the site, many need to realize just how powerful Facebook is. A study conducted by Harvard University found that "the average person receives 2,000 messages per day across all platforms."
While it might seem like Facebook is another place to post pictures and videos, it serves as a major conduit for political campaigns.
According to a report published by the Washington Post, Facebook is used by politicians to spread their message and build support. They do this by posting campaign announcements, photos of themselves doing good deeds, and even video clips of speeches.
This is why it's important to understand how to leverage Facebook. To reach a certain audience, you'll need to ensure you're reaching them there.
Political reputation has massive risk.
The riskiest arena of reputation is politics. After all, politicians are human beings, and humans do stupid things. And sometimes those mistakes come back to bite you.
Politicians are often portrayed as immune to criticism because they do what they believe is best for everyone else. They're simply trying to help people. However, even the most well-intentioned politician can find themselves in hot water over something they did wrong.
This means that only some things a politician does will cause problems for them. Most of the time, politicians don't do anything wrong. Instead, they make decisions based on how they want to look to others.
When they screw up, though, it can cost them dearly. Politicians can lose elections, they can lose support within their party, and they can lose friends. These things can lead to long-lasting consequences for a politician's career.
Political reputation management is a thing and is effective. However, one cannot definitively control an election or reverse policy through political reputation management. Many factors are involved in politics, including the media, public opinion, and the electorate.
Confirmation bias is the most potent force behind political reputation management. People tend to believe what they already think, even though evidence suggests otherwise. This is why politicians often say, "I'm not worried about my poll numbers," or "The polls don't matter." They're trying to convince themselves that they won't lose votes because people know how good they are.
In reality, voters do care about polling data. If they didn't, we wouldn't see candidates running ads saying, "If I win, I'll make sure everyone knows how great I am!" We'd also see candidates campaigning on issues that need to be more popular. The candidate with the best reputation likely wins every single time.
But there is no way around confirmation bias. Politicians must learn to recognize it and fight against it. Otherwise, they risk losing elections and changing the course of history.
December 30, 2022