Online reputation management

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Online reputation management, or ORM, is the practice of consistent research and analysis of one’s personal or professional, business or industry reputation as represented by the content across all types of online media. It is also sometimes referred to as online reputation monitoring, maintaining the same acronym.



ORM is a relatively new industry but has been brought to the forefront of professionals’ consciousness due to the overwhelming and many times unpredictable nature of both professional journalistic content and amateur user-generated content (or UGC), the latter of which there is far more, and not the least because of the wide number websites that offer such an opportunity to visitors, typically with very low barriers to entry--often just by creating a screen name, registering one's birthday and a geographical location, and providing a valid email address to complete the account-creation process. Thus, the type of online content monitored in ORM spans professional, journalism sponsored by traditional news and media giants as well as user-created and user-generated blogs, ratings, reviews, and comments, and all manner of specialized websites about any particular subject, be it a person, group, company, business, product, event, concept, or trend.

ORM partly formed from a need to manage consumer generated media (CGM)[1]

As CGM grew with the rise of social media and other similar user-based online content aggregators, it began to effect search results more and more, bringing with it increased attention to the matter of managing these results. [2]

EBay was one of the first web companies to harness the power of CGM feedback. By using user generated feedback ratings buyers and sellers were given reputations that helped other users make purchasing and selling decisions. ReputationDefender was one of the first companies that offered to proactively manage online reputations. ClaimID is another company that early on presented services designed to promote personal ORM.

The online research specialists Econsultancy have established that the UK market for ORM will grow by around 30% in 2008, to an estimated value of £60 million. [3]

Online media monitored with ORM

Specifically, the online media that is monitored in ORM is:

  • Traditional or mainstream websites
  • Social networks
  • Consumer Review sites
  • Sites which allow reviews of individuals.
  • Social news/bookmarking sites
  • Collaborative Research sites such as Yahoo Answers, Rediff Q&A
  • Independent discussion forums
  • User-generated content (UGC)/Consumer Generated Media (CGM)
  • Blogs
  • Blogging communities )


  • Improve customer satisfaction by gaining insights from consumers about what is good and bad about their product or services.
  • Increase perceptions of brand by creating opportunities to listen to and engage consumers.
  • Gain insights about competitors and their customers’ perceptions about their products and services.
  • Maintain shareholder value by mitigating risk by having ears close to the ground where opinions about a business are being formed and propagated.
  • Engage in more effective public relations by understanding who the real influencers are.
  • Gain understanding of the relationship between user generated content and traditional forms of online media, e.g. news, print, etc.
  • Provide early warning systems for reactive and defensive PR.
  • Reduce marketing spend by learning how to reach out to customers more cheaply.
  • Reduce internal costs by employing services which save time and effort, as well as money.
  • Help identify gaps for products and services which can be developed for profitable niche markets.
  • Gain insight into online networks and keywords and key phrases found in user-generated content, which can help to bolster natural search results about the person, product, or business.

See also



  • Alsop, R. (2004). Immutable Laws of Corporate Reputation: Creating,Protecting, and Repairing Your Most Valuable Asset. Wall Street Journal Books. 
  • Fernando, A. (2004). Big Blogger is Watching You! Reputation Management in an Opinionated, Hyperlinked World. Communication World. 
  • Jackson, K. (2004). Building Reputational Capital: Strategies for Integrity and Fair Play That Improve the Bottom Line. Oxford University Press. 
  • Schmitt, B. (2000). Branding Puts a High Value on Reputation Management. Financial Times. 
  • Thompson, N. (2003). More Companies Pay Heed to Their ‘Word of Mouse’ Reputation. New York Times. 
  • Gaines-Ross, L. (2008). Corporate Reputation: 12 Steps to Safeguarding and Recovering Reputation. John Wiley & Sons. 
  • Klewes, Joachim and Wreschniok, Robert (2010). Building and Maintaining Trust in the 21st Century. ISBN 978-3-642-01629-5. 

External links

es:Reputación online fr:E-réputation

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