A Seven-Step Action Plan

The last chapter of the book brings together information on the various topics to suggest a course of action that can be implemented to initiate or improve online reputation management efforts.

For once, it seems like an actual plan, not a number of random tips, so I'll take notes of information that is not entirely redundant.

Step 1: Identify Your Stakeholders

Your stakeholders include your customers, suppliers, and employees. It also includes online journalists, industry opinion leaders, online communities and social networks, and even your detractors. Identify each of these stakeholders and their importance to your reputation, as a method of defining target markets for your efforts.

Even when a stakeholder group is not the target of an effort, consider the impact of any action upon them. Do not make the mistake of assuming only your intended audience will receive the message and react to it.

Step 2: Conduct a Reputation Audit

If you are not aware of your current reputation online, conduct a reputation audit. It may be worthwhile to conduct traditional brand marketing surveys to find out what your stakeholders think of you, but you should also monitor what they are saying, unprompted and of their own free will, online.

The author repeats information from before about how to do an audit - skipping it here.

You should assess where you stand, and quantify that where possible (number of mentions, positive and negative, for example) as a benchmark. You should also schedule time to repeat this audit on a regular basis to monitor your reputation over time.

Step 3: Uncover Your Internal Reputation Assets and Liabilities

Rate the effectiveness of your existing content channels. The author suggests a 1-7 scale (between "needs a lot of work" and "ready to go" for your web site, articles and white papers, web multimedia, online pressroom, blogs, e-mail, profile, etc. EN: In addition to assessing the amount of work they need, I'd recommend assessing their effectiveness - if something doesn't matter much, no sense in wasting resources on it if that means neglecting a more important channel.

You should also make an effort to develop a written description of the personal you'd like to project: it will serve as a goal toward which you can aspire, and a guideline by which you can conduct your efforts.

Step 4: Write Your Goals

Develop specific goals you would like to achieve, and determine metrics that will enable you to measure progress toward them. The author suggests a number of very vague goals "better deflect online criticism, to remain marketable"

Step 5: Craft a Strategy and Write Objectives

From your large-scale goals, develop specific objectives. These should be quantifiable and achievable ("write three white papers," "create two blog posts a week", "review four books on amazon", etc.)

Step 6: Create an Implementation Plan

The implementation plan creates a more detailed timeline and makes assignments (in the company, who will take on each of the objectives). What will be doen this week, this month, this quarter, next quarter, etc.

Step 7: Build a Plan to Sustain Your Reputation

Develop metrics to measure your reputation online and a plan to monitor it and react to a crisis