26 May, 2024

Tony McChrystal: The Differences Between PR and ORM

Tony McChrystal is an online reputation management expert who joined ReputationDefender’s original UK management team in 2011. In this role, he oversaw an exciting period of growth for the company. Today, Tony McChrystal serves as Director of ReputationDefender EMEA.

This article will explore the similarities and difference between public relations (PR) and online reputation management (ORM).

PR and ORM essentially share the same objective: to influence audiences. However, while PR targets media professionals such as journalists, editors and TV and radio hosts, ORM targets online audiences instead.

Today, the internet is normally the first port of call for people seeking information. Although it may seem reasonable to expect content appearing in the Google search results to be accurate and reliable, this is not always the case. ORM seeks to redress the balance, ensuring that web users searching for a particular person or business online have access to reliable information, rather than untrue, misleading or outdated content.

Since brands do not pay for earned media, consumers tend to view it as a credible source of information. As a result, an objective news piece published by a top-tier third-party news site can be a powerful PR exercise.

Meanwhile, ORM techniques focus almost exclusively on influencing the search results to ensure positive content appears first. Online reputations are defined by search results. While social media posts may be transient, appearing and disappearing quickly in feeds, items that appear in search engine results can have a significant long-term impact, potentially sticking around for years.

According to a Moz survey, just 7% of web users ever venture beyond the first page of Google’s search results. For businesses and individuals seeking to take control of their online image, exerting control over the first 10 results is an effective means of managing the narrative that surrounds them online. Many ORM techniques revolve around pushing negative content down the search engine rankings onto page two and beyond, where the vast majority of people never look – essentially rendering that negative content ‘invisible’.

ORM specialists utilise their in-depth understanding of search engine optimisation strategies to help their clients build a robust online presence, helping them to suppress negative web content and better preparing them to defend themselves against any attacks on their online reputation that may occur in the future.

The world’s first online reputation management specialist, ReputationDefender was established to provide both businesses and individual clients with digital privacy and online reputation management solutions. Supported by top venture capital firms in its early years, today ReputationDefender forms part of the NortonLifeLock family, a publicly traded cybersecurity company serving more than 80 million users globally.

Claire James


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