Damage to the reputation of a company
The online reputation: its stakes, its importance
what to do if someone attacks you
For many companies today, visibility on the Internet is essential. Indeed, developing the image of a company online allows to increase its visibility not only with customers but also with potential prospects. Ultimately, visibility is able to generate more profit in the long run. However, due to a strong freedom of expression on the internet, it is also possible that some people or companies express themselves about your company. And unfortunately, these statements can sometimes cause you harm. So what should you do if someone attacks your online reputation? How should you react?
Take stock of the situationYou have just realized that your online reputation has been damaged? Don’t rush, you must first understand and analyze the situation. Indeed, it is essential to precisely define the type of attack. First of all, you must be able to qualify the message in order to determine its degree of seriousness. Is it a light criticism, an article exposing false information or a denigrating comment? Then, it is essential to measure the impact and virality of this negative message. For this, it is preferable to identify the author of the message (anonymous, company, influential personality, etc.). It is also advisable to identify on which media this negative message was published, as this will help you in the future. And don’t hesitate to print these messages to keep a proof. This first step allows you to better understand the situation and to know which solution you should turn to.
Think about legal solutionsThere are many legal solutions. Firstly, by keeping your evidence, you can have it certified by a bailiff, who will be able to guarantee the accuracy of the facts and the negative messages that have appeared about you. In parallel, another solution is to request the deletion of the unwanted content. This can be done with the person who wrote the content, with the platform where the content was posted, or even with the host of that platform. If this approach does not result in the removal of the content, don’t worry, legal protections are in place. Indeed, thanks to the regulations of the RGPD laws, you are entitled to object to the processing of personal data. Moreover, you can also request dereferencing, also known as the right to be forgotten. But in the case of a company, this is not always synonymous with a good digital strategy. Finally, if none of these solutions have had the desired effect, you can always take criminal action if your case concerns defamation or insult. For this type of solution, your company has 3 months to take legal action.
TRY TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION SIMPLY
If all of the solutions listed earlier do not work for you, or if they have not been successful, there are more moderate methods. Indeed, trying to solve the problem directly with the author of the message can also be a solution. In most companies, there is a team dedicated to corporate communication, which will be best able to address the author of the message. To do this, it is advisable to respond to the attack simply by remaining courteous in all circumstances and trying to give a reasoned explanation. The idea is to try to improve your image by presenting the qualities and expertise of your company.