A cyber workshop examines the increasing threat social media could have on brand reputation in a concept dubbed ‘e-reputation’

“It’s not what you say about your brand, it’s what Google says about it,” was the key message from the e-reputation workshop.
The workshop’s goal was to raise awareness of the concept of e-reputation, providing advice on how best to prepare and respond to an online reputational crisis.

Speaking after the event, chair Alain Gravier, head of central risk management department at French national lottery organisation, La Française des Jeux, stressed the importance of responding promptly to a social media crisis, but not to “trip your feet on the carpet”.

“I insist on the importance of reacting quickly, but you must also be accurate. Five years ago, you had time to think about what your response might be by involving your lawyer, but now you don’t have that much time.

“But then, sometimes in a crisis, you have to wait a while to answer correctly and this also applies with social media.”

Gravier highlighted a lack of engagement among board members, who he says are generally unaware of the potential reputational risks in respect of social media. “It’s a board-level problem,” he said. “They are not ‘digital natives’ and I suspect they do not have a Facebook or Twitter account.

“We, as risk managers, must make them aware of the mass audience on social media and also of technologies such as smartphones, GoPro cameras and, in the future, Google cameras, all of which make it easier to record and post items on the internet.”

He warned: “If it’s funny or a scandal, it will spread like a bushfire.”