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A new industry is emerging from the world of high tech – reputation management companies. With the rise of online customer review websites and prominence of instant communication technologies like Twitter, companies are finding the need to manage how and what kind of information is disseminated. Reputation management companies are helping companies protect their information and improve the image they have on the world-wide web.


  1. As managers, we may be inclined to think about communication as an internal issue. Let’s think about it in a broader context. Review the definition for social capital in the text. How does this relate to reputation management as discussed in the article?
  2. What role can new communication technologies like Facebook and Twitter play in terms of effective and efficient communication for a company?
  3. Consider the impact of company versus customer communication. Which is most credible? Why might customers be seen as a more reliable source of information about a company?
  4. The article described one way to turn negative comments on review web sites into a benefit. In terms of active listening, how should company management use feedback from review web sites to enhance image?

SOURCE: O. El Akkad, “Reputation Guns for Hire,” The Globe and Mail (Retrievable online at

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