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Hiring a Reputation Management Consultant: What To Look For & Salaries

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Reputation is everything in business. Okay, maybe not everything—but it’s fair to say that reputation is an incredibly important part of running a successful business.

And you don’t need to take our word for it. In the 2020 World PR Report, 600 C-Suite executives from around the world were asked how often impact on corporate reputation was a major factor in company decisions.

The results? A whopping 75% responded “almost always” or “often”. Clearly, reputation management is on a lot of people’s minds.

In this article, Reviewgrower will be explaining what reputation is and why so many people are thinking about it. We’ll also be giving you a full rundown of the profession that’s behind the PR successes of many of these companies—reputation management consulting.

Let’s get started!

What Is Reputation Management?

Reputation management is the process of positively influencing the perception of a business. Today, this can be about changing the way people see and feel about your client when they interact with their brand online, through:

  • Reviews
  • Search results
  • Social media posts
  • Content (blog posts, videos, etc.)

It’s important to note that reputation management is not about hiding negative information—even though that’s a common trope in fiction. It’s about using good, honest methods to generate positive information and increase its visibility

For example, Casper—an eCommerce company selling mattresses and other sleep products online—prominently displays positive reviews as testimonials on their homepage:

That’s reputation management in action! Now, let’s talk about the professionals who make this happen.

What Is a Reputation Management Consultant?

A reputation management consultant is a person or agency that helps clients manage and improve their online reputations. These clients might be big companies, small businesses, public figures or celebrities—anyone with a stake in how they’re perceived by the public.

Some consultants also offer offline reputation management services (e.g., crisis management and media relations), but in the extremely online world we live in, offline reputation management work has definitely taken a backseat to its digital counterpart.

Because of this, this article will focus on online reputation management (ORM).

What Does A Reputation Management Consultant Actually Do?

We’ve covered what reputation management consultants do from a more general perspective, but what do they do day-to-day to manage their clients’ reputations?

Well, that depends on the client—and the client’s reason for hiring a reputation management consultant in the first place. But there are a few reputation management responsibilities that are common across the board, including:

  1. monitoring online sentiment
  2. generating positive content
  3. addressing negative content
  4. reputation marketing
  5. reporting progress

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

1. Monitoring Online Sentiment

“Sentiment” is a fairly vague term used by reputation managers to describe how people feel about their client. And in the age of social media, it’s easier than ever for people to share their feelings with the world.

This is why monitoring online sentiment is such an important part of reputation management. By keeping tabs on what people are saying, consultants can get a pulse on the public’s perception of their client—and take steps to improve it, if necessary.

Reviewgrower makes it easy to monitor online sentiment thanks to easy integration with 80+ review sites, including:

  • TripAdvisor
  • Google Reviews
  • Yelp
  • Facebook

Reviews are aggregated in a central dashboard for easy tracking, reporting, and analysis.

2. Generating Positive Content

One of the most common—and effective—reputation management strategies is content generation. This involves creating and promoting positive content about your client in an effort to drown out any negative noise.

Positive content can come in many forms, including:

  • positive reviews
  • blog posts
  • testimonials
  • media
  • case studies

Reviewgrower makes it easy to generate reviews for your clients with bulk customer contact uploading and easy integration with third-party apps and CRMs via Zapier. 

Reviewgrower’s proprietary review funnel handles everything—from review requests to follow-ups—so you can generate positive reviews at scale.

3. Addressing Negative Content

Despite their best efforts, even the most well-oiled reputation management machine will eventually have to deal with negative content. And when that happens, it’s important to address the situation swiftly and effectively.

There are a few different ways to do this, but some of the most common include:

  • responding to negative reviews
  • challenging negative search results
  • disputing inaccurate information

For instance, Friendly Stranger, a cannabis store based in Ontario, Canada, responds to this 1-star review by apologizing for the negative customer experience and providing them with the opportunity to have their concerns heard. 

While this may not have resolved the situation, it shows that they are taking steps in preventing something similar from happening: 

Reviewgrower allows you to keep tabs on all your clients’ reviews from a central dashboard. 

You can also set up alerts, so you’re notified as soon as a new review is posted—meaning it’s easy to respond to reviews (both negative and positive!) in a timely manner.

4. Reputation Marketing

Reputation marketing is the art of turning a positive online reputation into a valuable marketing asset.  And it’s something that every reputation management consultant should be well-versed in.

Some of the most common reputation marketing strategies include:

  • leveraging positive reviews and testimonials in marketing collateral
  • using social proof to increase conversion rates
  • using reputation-based lead generation

Reviewgrower’s review widgets make it easy to showcase your clients’ reviews and testimonials on your website, landing pages, or social media.

Client’s can use our static widget to highlight a few of their favorite reviews, or our dynamic widget to showcase a real-time review tracker.

5. Reporting Progress

One of the most important—and oftentimes overlooked—aspects of reputation management is reporting progress to clients.

Reputation management is an ongoing process, which means consultants need to be able to show their clients that they’re making headway. If they can’t, it’s easy for client’s to assume the worst—and that usually results in lost business.

This requires regular reporting that includes things like:

  • key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • online sentiment analysis
  • progress reports

Reviewgrower’s reporting features make it easy to show clients the progress you’re making on their reputation management efforts. You can quickly and easily generate custom, white-label reports that include all the data you need—from review count to an average rating.

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Plus, it’s easy to add clients to your Reviewgrower account, so they can access their own data and reports 24/7.

Reputation Management Consultant Salary

The average reputation management consultant can expect to earn a salary of around $71,611 per year with a salary range of around $60,000 to $85,000 per year according to recent data. However, salaries will vary depending on the consultant’s experience, education, and location.

For example, corporate reputation management consultants who work in California earn an average annual salary of $79,989, while those working in South Dakota earn an average of $61,229 per year.

Additionally, corporate reputation management consultants with experience or post-graduate degrees in public relations or marketing will typically earn higher salaries than those without this experience.

What To Look for in a Great Reputation Management Consultant

Not all reputation management consultants are created equal. And while we can’t give you specific recommendations, we can give a list of boxes they should be ticking.

If you’re looking for a corporate reputation management consultant, you should look for someone who:

1. Has a track record of success

The best reputation management consultants will have a track record of successfully repairing or managing corporate reputations. When looking for a consultant, ask for:

  • References: A great reputation management consultant will be able to provide you with references from previous clients. These references can tell you a lot about what it’s like to work with the consultant and whether they’re able to deliver results.
  • Case Studies: The best consultants will also have case studies detailing the corporate reputation management work they’ve done in the past. These case studies should outline the problem, the solution, and the results.

2. Uses data-driven methods

A great reputation management consultant will use data to drive their decisions. This could be in the form of social media analytics, Google Trends data, or review site data—it all depends on the tools and methods they use. The important thing is that they’re collecting relevant data and consistently sharing that data with you.

At Reviewgrower, we know how important it is for great reputation management consultants to keep their clients in the loop. That’s why we made it so easy to generate reports and create client accounts!

3. Has experience within your industry

It’s always helpful if your corporate reputation management consultant has experience working with companies in your industry. They’ll be familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities that come with managing corporate reputation in your sector.

For example, if you’re in the healthcare industry, you’ll want to look for a consultant who has experience working with the unique challenges that come with managing corporate reputation in the healthcare industry, such as building trust with potential patients.

Reputation Management Consultant Job Market

The corporate reputation management consulting job market is growing. This is due, in part, to the increasing importance of online business reputation.

As more and more companies come to realize the importance of corporate reputation, they’re starting to invest more money in corporate reputation management. And as companies invest more money in corporate reputation management, they need more corporate reputation management consultants to guide them.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for public relations specialists—an umbrella that includes corporate reputation managers and consultants—is expected to grow by 13% from 2020 to 2030. This is much faster than the 7% growth rate for all other occupations.

Plus, current PR specialists are incredibly optimistic about the job market outlook. According to the 2020 World PR Report, the average PR specialist is highly optimistic about the growth of the PR market. More companies and individual clients are seeking out reputation management services than ever before!

Reputation Management Doesn’t Need To Be Complicated

Reviewgrower is designed to simplify reputation management for consultants and agencies. We provide an easy-to-use platform that collects and displays your online reviews, so you can easily keep tabs on what people are saying about your clients online.

We also offer a suite of tools to help you manage and improve clients’ online reputations. With Reviewgrower, you can:

  • Respond to negative reviews
  • Automate review generation funnels
  • Generate white label reports
  • And more!

Sign up for a 30-day free trial and see for yourself!

Alex Contes

My past experience is as a Senior Full Stack Developer/Tech Lead. I have 16+ years of experience working in web development. Now I’ve transitioned to a SaaS product owner. Successfully launched my first product ReviewGrower as a Co-Founder after working on it for almost two years.

More from Alex Contes

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