In the coming months you will likely hear the term “Reputation Management” pop up quite a bit in my marketing/communication blog posts. Wikipedia
has one of my favorite definitions for the term.
Reputation management is the practice of
understanding or influencing an individual’s or business’s reputation.
It was originally coined as a public relations term, but advancement in
computing, the internet and social media made it primarily an issue
of search results.
More simply put, reputation management is Managing your Reputation as
it appears online. Any professional is familiar with their
“reputation” but the quest is always “How can it be changed”?
Why does Reputation Management Matter?
Like it or not, your name is being typed into Google, and more often than you may realize. People (patients, family of patients, other providers) are looking you up online. There is no question that people use the web to look you up, the question is what are they finding? Reviews from disgruntled patients? Your personal address or cellphone number? (often these things slip into public domain databases)
The results of a reputation search can be classified into 3 categories.
- Positive – You control the content and what it says about you.
IE: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Personal/Professional Website
- Neutral – You don’t control the content and it is neutral or positive about you.
IE: A Newspaper article, white pages listing database website listing (with no review option)
- Negative – You do NOT control the content and it is negative.
IE: Yelp or HealthGrades profile with negative or open reviews.
You will notice that I have included any website that allows for reviews in the “negative” classification. This is because all they take is one upset patient (which in our profession is often unavoidable) and you are in trouble.
So do a quick google search for yourself (do so in a private browser if possible) and see what pops up. Do you want current or potential patients seeing that?
What can a Psychiatrist do?
First, don’t be afraid! Secondly, become active online.
Many people just want to disappear, fly below the radar. The problem is two fold here. First off, other websites have the right to post your information. This means that you can’t simply say “hey… take that photo or me down!” If your home address or cell phone are appearing online, it is because you put them down on a public form that found it’s way into a database somewhere. You can try to “Claim” those listings and edit them (such as on our website) but if there is no claim feature… you’re out of luck.
This is why you need to be ACTIVE online. If you create a twitter, Linkedin, Facebook PAGE (not profile… but a page) and are active on those profiles, they will start to show up in the results. This means when people are looking for you online, they will find “YOU” instead of third party sites about you.
There are other things you can do to push this process along, and we will be covering that along with other marketing and communication techniques moving forward. The most important thing to know is that you have to be PROACTIVE