With business recommendation websites such as Yelp and Avvo as well as people’s own blogs, it is easier than ever for someone to launch an attack on your professional reputation. It is only human to lash out at people who attack our professional reputation. Typically, it is hard won and involves our livelihood. But reacting by filing a libel suit against negative publicity often backfires.
1. Its hard to win these suits because frequently the poster is giving an opinion and such suits are seen as “chilling” 1st amendment expression.
2. Often the effect is to make the negative comment more visible than it would have if you had done nothing because media outlets enjoy publicizing lawsuits involving social media snafus.
Another approach is to respond directly to the complainer with a gracious apology which can put you in a good light. Or if the complaint is completely gratuitous, you can always make a factual statement in response. For example, if someone made up a complaint about a case you never handled. You can simply state that you have consulted your client files and can’t find the incident discussed. Read more on other steps you can take to protect your professional reputation.
5 Tips to Work with Avvo, Yelp & Other Review Websites
- Monitor them regularly: If you can,have the service send you an email when a review is posted, if that’s not possible, then create a schedule where you regularly view your profiles on Yelp, Avvo and the like.
- Respond quickly and truthfully to any negative postings.
- If the review is completely egregious, report them as a spam to the website in addition to responding on the site, politely explaining why it is unfair, untruthful or just plain spiteful.
- Make sure to make it easy for your satisfied customers to know that if they are very satisfied with your service, to go to these sites and let others know.
- Have your own presence on social media sites where you share your tips, links and experience on LinkedIn, Twitter, blog and/or Facebook