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Reputation management in times of fake news and online buzz

Manage your reputation with PR & SEO

Before customers go into business with your company, they look you up online. Not only do they look at how you position yourself on your website, but they also take into account what others write about youNews and consumer trends influence your company’s reputation. How should you deal with and respond to this?


Sooner or later, your company may have to deal with negative publicity:
  • Local problems:
    • Neighbours complaining about noise or odour nuisance and taking the legal battle to the press.
    • Consumer organisations presenting your products negatively (e.g. List with ‘tested and disliked’ products).
    • Criticism of advertising aimed at children
    • Criticism of consuming alcohol (Tournée Minérale, an alcohol-free month), meat (Days without meat), sugar (National Sugar Challenge) etc.
    • Price conflicts between food companies and retailers.
  • International problems:
    • Environmental and social issues such as deforestation, child labour, exploitation, plastic soup etc.
    • The Coronavirus and its impact on the beer brand of the same name.

3 tips!


Know what's circulating online

First and foremost, map out your company's online reputation. Set up a monitoring tool. By the way, Google Alerts is completely free. Try Search Engine Optimization and guide stakeholders to your website. That way you have more control over the communication than the news sites.

 news (1)

Pay attention to public relations

​Don't just communicate in times of crisis. Apart from the mandatory advertising messages, an image also needs to be built. You can do this by communicating newsworthy facts (e.g. new product launch, site acquisition, employee initiatives, product and packaging optimization etc.). Then communicate this to a broad audience (consumers, neighbours, non-professionals): avoid jargon, foreign words and abbreviations.


All employees are brand ambassadors

Both the offline word-of-mouth and the online word-of-mouse of your employees is crucial for the company's reputation. Don't just leave the communication to the marketing department and spokesperson. It is stronger and more credible when employees share messages. Not only is it guaranteed to spread much faster, but it also has a positive impact on your reputation.

Food Security helps her members by:


Organising a reputation management & crisis communication session on 22/10 in Dutch and on 28/10 in French. This interactive workshop is customised to communication managers who in times of calm as well as in times of crisis get both written and oral communication on their plate. In the morning we not only discuss how to do PR, but also what good crisis communication entails. In the afternoon there is a camera training with practical exercises.


Organising a workshop social media policyEmployees contribute to building up or breaking down your company’s reputation. In this workshop we discuss the creation of a policy that defines the private and professional use of social media on and off the shop floor. How do you tackle this? What needs to be included? What legal requirements does this have to meet?

Open media

Organising some open media trainings. Not only in times of crisis, but also in times of calm communication is much-needed. A trained spokesperson is therefore invaluable.