One of the many wonderful things about the internet is the way in which it gives everyone a voice. Unfortunately, not everyone chooses to use that voice wisely, fairly or responsibly. When someone starts a business in today’s climate they will struggle to do so without the aid of the internet for digital marketing, interacting with clients and customers on social media or using content marketing to promote yourself. While the internet offers numerous tools for you to build your business up, it offers others as many opportunities to tear it down by posting misleading, inaccurate or falsified information about you and your business. However groundless these accusations may be they can be severely damaging to your business’ reputation and…
Your business IS your reputation
In the hyper-competitive, digitally led globalized marketplace of the 21st century reputation is more important than ever in the business world. Your reputation is what draws customers to your business and keeps them coming back again and again. Your business has enough threats to contend with without having to defend its reputation from defamatory allegations or libelous accusations. Unfortunately it requires neither evidence nor proof nor even coherent logic to make a statement on the internet and even the most groundless statement can damage your business’ reputation.
If, let’s say you or a senior employee in your industry is arrested in connection with a crime or misdemeanour you will need to worry not only about bail bonds but the potential damage to your reputation. Even though a court of law may degree that you or they are innocent until proven guilty, the court of public opinion is another matter.
Thankfully there are ways in which you can insulate your business from damage caused to its reputation…
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Sometimes damage may come to your business’ reputation from within. You or an employee may post something that could be considered incendiary or offensive which could in turn become defamatory to your business. In circumstances like this, Professional Indemnity Insurance can protect you if a defamation case is made against you. Defamation claims can, after all, be complex and costly to navigate.
Use social media to your advantage
If a defamatory comment is made against you or your business on social media you can nip things right in the bud by reporting the comment as inappropriate or offensive and requesting that it be taken down. However, this is damage limitation and by the time the comment or statement is noticed a certain proportion of the damage may already be done.
You can use social media as a platform from which to defend yourself. Meet the comment head on and call out the person that made it. If you can prove its falsehood this is your opportunity to do so.
You should also keep a close eye on what your employees are saying on social media and even consider building clauses into their contract that prevent them from saying and sharing material which may be considered offensive in ways that could be associated with your business.