If you have a webmaster or even an information technology (IT) department, it may seem like it makes sense to assign online reputation management to that person or group. After all, they're web developers, right? Here are three reasons why a web developer may not the best choice for the job:
- Web developers have a specialized skillset. So do online reputation managers. Imagine having a mechanic that just does brakes and another that just does transmissions. While both probably know quite a bit about automobiles in general, a competent brake mechanic will do your brakes faster, more efficiently, and with more precision then your transmission guy. Why? Because he has all the right tools, all the right expertise, and all the right experience for brakes. The transmission guy might know how to do your brakes, but does he have a brake lathe? Maybe not. And he doesn't do them often, so he's a little slower, a little less practiced, and he's charging per hour... To bring the analogy home, a competent reputation management professional is a skilled professional writer, knows public relations techniques, knows Google inside and out, is a social networking expert, is well versed in online information dissemination strategy, and knows search engine optimization (SEO).
- Reputation management is not purely an IT activity. Some may say "Reputation management is just search engine optimization (SEO)." However, in actuality, SEO is just one tool a reputation manager uses to do his job. We use a number of others, some of which don't involve computers at all.
- Reputation management is time intensive, and should never be an afterthought. For a webmaster or IT department that has a full set of responsibilities maintaining one or more websites, keeping those sites online and updated is priority one. Good SEO is priority two. Reputation management gets whatever time is left over.