“Canadians spend more time looking online at content on politics and current events to arrive at a ‘considered opinion,’ than Americans,” says digital public affairs strategist Mark Blevis. He says this process of Canadians proactively seeking information to develop a considered opinion is behavior that is unique to Canada.
MLEK partners agree. What we often see as passive behavior is really Canadians becoming educated on a subject before they make up their minds and take a position. This is at the heart of understanding reputation management in Canada.
Read more from digital public affairs strategist Mark BlevisOttawa-based, Blevis says reputation management requires people and companies to be equally proactive to make sure they are part of Canadians’ considered opinion. From his perspective, “reputation management is about building bridges, building connections and crisis communications is about repairing those bridges, repairing those connections.”
MLEK asked Blevis to give our readers advice on how companies and persons can use social media to actively engage and become part of the considered opinion of Canadians to proactively manage their reputation.
Blevis advises companies and individuals to customize their own “digital ecosystem” to align with their goals. “The first step is to select the social media tools that best serve your organizational goals – not your social media goals. Having a YouTube account without content or without using it is like buying a property and letting it become derelict.”
There are many social media tools to choose from and each one can be used a multiple of ways to achieve multiple purposes. The digital tool is an enabler. You need to know what it is that you want to enable to help you understand what tool to use, how to use it and why you are using it.
“It’s so easy for an organization to say, ‘I need twitter, facebook, video, Instagram, Flickr – everything – and go crazy, when all they really need is a blog. It depends on what the organization or person is trying to achieve and why; and what values they have,” he says.
Whether you are a company or a person, MLEK recommends you take Blevis’ advice and step back and audit your digital tools to make sure they line up with your corporate or personal goals. Then become proactive using your digital tool set to get involved in creating “considered opinion” in your areas of expertise.
Your reputation may depend on it.