How the Banking Industry can Improve Their Online Reputation 0

Banks are notorious for having bad reputations, and things have only gotten worse during the recent economic downturn and financial crises. Knowing which factors influence a poor reputation and some specific steps to take can help banks large and small rebuild their good reputations.

A 2012 Study by American Banker concluded that some of the largest banks: Wells Fargo, Citibank and Bank of America have the poorest reputations.

4 Reasons Contributing to Banks’ Poor Reputations

1. Fee Increases During Hard Times

According to CFO.com, banking profitability is down from from about 26% in past years to about 14%. While fee increases support bank profits, in the context of a larger economic downturn they have a strong negative effect on reputation. Both real and proposed new fees and fee increases create a reputational backlash.

2. Lack of Direct Interaction & Communication

According to AmericanBanker.com, direct interaction and exposure to the company’s messaging (including “advertising, marketing, public relations activities or social responsibility efforts”) have huge impacts on a bank’s reputation. A lack of either or both has a large detrimental effect on reputation.

3. Relative Value Mindset

Banks often see reputation as just another way to beat competitors. While reputation can be a major differentiator, building a good one is not a race to the finish line.

4. Recent Scandals

Banks seem to have more scandals than most other businesses. All scandals adversely affect all banks. They prompt customers and investors to pay more attention to bank behavior so even the littlest problem can become a major concern. If scandals lead to criminal indictments against banks, the net effect is even worse because no one wants to do business with a criminal.

5 Ways Banks Can Rebuild a Good Reputation

First, improve communication both externally and internally.

External communication includes:

  • positive brand messaging
  • asking for and responding to feedback from customers and investors
  • showing that your bank is a responsible, trustworthy lender in tough times

Internal communication means:

  • making it clear to employees what kinds of behavior are rewarded or unacceptable
  • talking about the company’s strategy, mission, and values
  • accepting and responding to feedback from employees

Second, focus on consistency.

If you’re communicating one thing but doing the opposite, your reputation will align with your actions. Compensation and reward structures must match your internal communications to employees. Acquisitions, lending policies, customer service, and other actions must align with your external messaging to customers and investors.

Third, work on existing relationships.

Because bank profits are decreasing and other industries are moving into the banking sector, banks cannot afford high customer churn rates anymore. That means it’s important to work on retaining customers and improving their experience and direct interaction with you.

Fourth, live up to expectations.

According to Anthony Johndrow of Reputation Institute (source), customers expect banks “to engage in citizenship, good governance and innovation, along with having solid financial performance and trustworthy products and services.” A bank’s ability to meet those 5 expectations will be reflected in its general reputation.

Fifth, use social media more aggressively.

Because social media promotes both communication and direct interaction, it can be a more powerful positive influence on reputation than other sources. Use it more aggressively to help customers and provide accountability and transparency.


Source: Big Blue Robot

Travel Industry Online Reputation Management 0

According to eMarketer, the number of people who research and book a trip online increases dramatically every year, and the trend will only continue. That’s why it is so important for hoteliers, agencies, and other travel marketers to take control of their reputations online.

Start your online reputation management off on the right track with these ideas.

Drive prospects to owned media

The eMarketer report indicates that branded travel websites are the second most common source travelers use when researching and booking travel online. That means your branded website, blog, and other owned media are the most important resources you have to help customers and influence a positive reputation.

Use a strong, comprehensive search engine optimization and paid search strategy to drive traffic to the media you own and control. Publish lots of unique, useful content on your website, social channels, and other owned media to help them appear high in search results.

Incorporate ads and reviews

Paid media such as search ads, Facebook ads, and promoted tweets can be the catalyst that introduces travel researchers to your brand and inspires engagement. Use them in conjunction with strong SEO and reviews.

Earned media, especially reviews and positive social mentions, increases your credibility and is the online equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing, making it very powerful. Use the following ideas to generate positive reviews and mentions:

  • ask for reviews on social media
  • host a contest or giveaway with the prize going to a randomly selected reviewer
  • use email to encourage customers to talk about their experience

Use social media aggressively

According to iProspect, the very first thing travel brands should do to control their reputations is claim brand presence on social platforms. The biggest social media–Facebook, Twitter, Google+, TripAdvisor, and various listing sites–are the perfect channels for generating powerful reviews and recommendations and spreading awareness of your brand.

Lots of updated content and the judicious use of ads on all these platforms can make a huge difference to both your bottom line and how you are perceived.

Make your media more visually appealing

Like the food and real estate industries, travel depends on visual elements to perform well. Using beautiful, high-resolution videos, photos, and other multimedia impacts your reputation in a few ways:

1      If you invest the time and money to create appealing visual media, your services are more likely to be high quality as well.

2      Great multimedia are more likely to be shared, increasing your brand’s exposure and creating indirect recommendations.

3      Visual media are easy to publish across many different platforms (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest, Flickr, etc.), making them more likely to show up in a video or image search.

Having an appealing and easy-to-use website makes a big difference, too. It encourages reviews, makes it easy to research and book a trip, and is more likely to show up in search results thanks to better navigation and user experience.

Focus on your customers

Your online reputation directly reflects your reputation in general. Take ownership of your reputation in all its facets by making customer experience as remarkable as possible.


Source: Big Blue Robot

Los Angeles Superior Court Continues to Reduce Staff 0

The Los Angeles Superior Court, the biggest court system on earth, continues to take extraordinary measures to deal with the budget crisis in California. Here is an article from Courthouse News that lays out some of the current issues facing the courts. One thing is clear: these cuts will delay trials, which will delay justice. Something must be done at the legislative level.


Source: Adrianos Facchetti

Malicious Prosecution 0

Malicious prosecution is extremely difficult to prove and is disfavored by the law. It requires the plaintiff to plead and prove four distinct elements in order to prevail. These elements are: (1) initiation of a prior proceeding; (2) favorable termination; (3) lack of probable cause; and (4) malice.

The first element is pretty self-explanatory: it requires the initiation of some formal proceeding, e.g. filing of a complaint. The second element is a bit more nuanced, but an example of a favorable termination would be a defense jury verdict or dismissal with prejudice of the underlying claims.

The existence of probable cause is determined by an objective test: “a suspicion founded upon circumstances warranting a reasonable man’s belief that grounds exist for initiating proceedings.”

If an attorney is being sued for malicious prosecution, the test for probable cause is whether, as an objective matter, “any reasonable attorney would have thought the claim tenable.” That is, the “ . . . standard [] is satisfied if the issues presented in the underlying action were arguably correct, even if it was extremely unlikely the client would win.”

And in order to show malice, plaintiff must plead and prove either ill will or some ulterior purpose distinct from that of enforcement of the alleged cause of action.

Those are the elements of a malicious prosecution. But beware: courts do not like these kinds of claims. And they are automatically subject to anti-SLAPP treatment. 


Source: Adrianos Facchetti