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Five Ways to Protect the
Online Reputation of
Your Business
Ashley R. Dobbs
(703) 526-4701
adobbs@beankinney.com
2300 Wils...
Ashley R. Dobbs

Shareholder at Bean, Kinney, and Korman P.C.


15 years as business and brand
marketing consultant …
… a...
Overview
 What’s your brand worth to you?
 What’s the risk to your business reputation from
the “wild, wild west” of the...
What is a Brand?





Company image
Logo / name
Promise or unique value proposition
Customers' experience and
expectat...
Why Does Your Brand Matter?
 Rapid identification in a
faster world
 Create customer loyalty
 Align and inspire employe...
Why Does Your Brand Matter
Online?
 85% of executives use social media during a purchase
decision (Forrester research)
 ...
What’s Your Brand and
Business Reputation Worth?
 What if you lost …
 30% of your product sales to
counterfeiters?
 Exi...
What’s the Worst that Could
Happen?






Deceitful paid search ads
Misleading websites, diverted traffic
Lost sales,...
What Can You Do About It?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Protect
Monitor
Enforce
Follow the “Golden Rule”
Choose your battles wisely
Protect
How do You Protect Your Brand?
 ORIGINAL WORKS ©
 NAMES ®
 SLOGANS ™
Protect
 Ensure and secure ownership with work for
hire agreements with independent contractors
and license agreements wi...
Monitor
 Practice good web hygiene





Google® alerts and simple searches
News media, social mention apps, etc.
More...
Enforce
 Be willing and able to enforce your
rights against domain name squatters,
misleading key word and paid
advertisi...
Follow the Golden Rule
 Respect others’ copyrights and
intellectual property
 Educate your marketing team
 Written agre...
Don’t Sweat the
Small Stuff:
Kitchen and PR
Nightmares

Source: eater.com

Source:
buzzfeed.com
Choose Your Battles Wisely :
Online Reviews
Free speech vs. defamation (opinion vs. facts)
Anonymity and free speech (Yelp...
“Regard your good name as the
richest jewel you can possibly be
possessed of -- for credit is like fire;
when once you hav...
Ashley R. Dobbs, Esquire
Bean, Kinney & Korman, P.C.
2300 Wilson Boulevard, 7th Floor
Arlington, Virginia 22201
703-526-47...
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Five Ways to Protect Your Business's Online Reputation

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Ashley Dobbs, an intellectual property attorney, presented keys ways to protect your most valuable asset, your reputation, in the age of electronic media to the Arlington Chamber of Commerce in July 2013.

Published in: Business, Technology
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Transcript of "Five Ways to Protect Your Business's Online Reputation"

  1. 1. Five Ways to Protect the Online Reputation of Your Business Ashley R. Dobbs (703) 526-4701 adobbs@beankinney.com 2300 Wilson Boulevard, 7th Floor Arlington, VA 22201 www.beankinney.com
  2. 2. Ashley R. Dobbs Shareholder at Bean, Kinney, and Korman P.C.  15 years as business and brand marketing consultant … … and Cruise Director  8 years in legal practice  Lead BKK’s Intellectual Property practice group: advertising, marketing, brand protection, trademark, copyright, licensing (data, software, trademark, content), sponsorship & merchandising contracts, internet  Clients include businesses and ad and PR agencies
  3. 3. Overview  What’s your brand worth to you?  What’s the risk to your business reputation from the “wild, wild west” of the online world?  Five ways to protect that reputation 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Protect Monitor (good web hygiene) Enforce (smack-down and clean-up) Follow the “Golden Rule” (don’t steal stuff) Choose your battles wisely (online reviews)
  4. 4. What is a Brand?     Company image Logo / name Promise or unique value proposition Customers' experience and expectations when doing business with your company
  5. 5. Why Does Your Brand Matter?  Rapid identification in a faster world  Create customer loyalty  Align and inspire employees  Position to sell, franchise, license and expand
  6. 6. Why Does Your Brand Matter Online?  85% of executives use social media during a purchase decision (Forrester research)  Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted — nearly 12 times more –than descriptions that come from manufacturers. (eMarketer, February 2010)  53% of people on Twitter recommend companies and/or products in their Tweets, with 48% of them delivering on their intention to buy the product. (ROI Research for Performance, June 2010)  The average consumer mentions specific brands over 90 times per week in conversations with friends, family, and co-workers. (Keller Fay, WOMMA, 2010) Source: reviewpro.com
  7. 7. What’s Your Brand and Business Reputation Worth?  What if you lost …  30% of your product sales to counterfeiters?  Existing customers?  Your pipeline of future customers?  Your entire advertising and brand marketing budget for the year?  Revenue from your content?
  8. 8. What’s the Worst that Could Happen?      Deceitful paid search ads Misleading websites, diverted traffic Lost sales, counterfeit goods Damaged reputation Study of sports jerseys – looking at one league, 28% of ads were suspicious, with 11 million annual visits redirected from legitimate seller to probable counterfeiters
  9. 9. What Can You Do About It? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Protect Monitor Enforce Follow the “Golden Rule” Choose your battles wisely
  10. 10. Protect How do You Protect Your Brand?  ORIGINAL WORKS ©  NAMES ®  SLOGANS ™
  11. 11. Protect  Ensure and secure ownership with work for hire agreements with independent contractors and license agreements with trademark users  Use ® and © and TM  Use defensive strategies:  Watermarks  Widgets / java script  Low res images Source: istockphoto.com
  12. 12. Monitor  Practice good web hygiene     Google® alerts and simple searches News media, social mention apps, etc. More complicated automated search options Brand monitoring services  Establish a baseline  Implement routine searches and maintain records  Dedicated responsibility with a strategic plan, not haphazard
  13. 13. Enforce  Be willing and able to enforce your rights against domain name squatters, misleading key word and paid advertising, and other infringers  “Cease and Desist” Letters  UDRP Complaints  DMCA takedown notices  Focus on actual infringement
  14. 14. Follow the Golden Rule  Respect others’ copyrights and intellectual property  Educate your marketing team  Written agreements with photographers & website developers  Pay licensing fees or use free stock photos
  15. 15. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Kitchen and PR Nightmares Source: eater.com Source: buzzfeed.com
  16. 16. Choose Your Battles Wisely : Online Reviews Free speech vs. defamation (opinion vs. facts) Anonymity and free speech (Yelp subpoenas) DMCA protects hosting sites, not individual posters Double-edged sword – the “Streisand Effect” Personal, timely responses and excellent customer services Business ways to beat bad news: online reputation services, increased coverage of other items, blogging, updating your website, press releases, ask good customers to post with positive reviews  BUT no “sock-puppets” or “astroturfing”!      
  17. 17. “Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of -- for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again.” ― Socrates
  18. 18. Ashley R. Dobbs, Esquire Bean, Kinney & Korman, P.C. 2300 Wilson Boulevard, 7th Floor Arlington, Virginia 22201 703-526-4701 adobbs@beankinney.com www.beankinney.com
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