Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
The Ratings are Coming > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

The Ratings are Coming

Small businesses have always known the importance of word of mouth. Many successful businesses have been built on word of mouth referrals, and many have been killed by bad word of mouth.

But now the landscape is changing, making word of mouth more important than ever - only now, that word of mouth is being communicated on the Internet.

People - your customers - are turning to the Internet as their primary source of information on products and services. Instead of opening the yellow pages of their phone book, they turn to Yahoo or Google. And in addition to websites and listings for local businesses, they are finding ratings and reviews!

Sites like Amazon.com and ePinions pioneered product rating systems. In some categories, these ratings have become essential to a product's success: more than 60% of consumer electronics purchasers report that they consult online ratings before making a purchase decision!

Ratings have also become common is a few other business categories, such as restaurants and hotels.

But the online ratings explosion is just starting; Internet entrepreneurs are demonstrating that virtually anything can be rated online.

RateMyProfessors.com, launched in 1999, allows college students to rate - well, professors. The site has accumulated over 3 million ratings, and has spun off another site, RateMyTeachers.com, aimed at high school and elementary students.

ApartmentRatings.com has the most comprehensive database of apartment ratings, with almost 250,000 reviews. RateMDs.com was formed to allow patients to rate their doctors. A new site, ClubRatingz.com, allows patrons to rate nightclubs and bars (perhaps while recovering from hangovers?)

Rating sites are even risking the wrath of the legal profession: LawyerRatingz.com provides attorney ratings and reviews.

All of these sites feature a fair share of rants and raves. Many of the comments are semi-coherent ramblings, often typed with Caps Lock down. But surprisingly, over time and with enough ratings, a fairly accurate picture emerges. Some reviewers provide well-thought reviews and useful information. And the sites are being visited and read!

The ratings phenomena may not have reached your industry or your community, but it probably will. So what can you do about it?

First, be aware of ratings sites. Use a search engine to look for rating sites in your area and business. (Search for things like landscaper ratings in Pittsburgh or hair salon reviews in Sacramento.) You may find that your business is already listed on a rating site. If it is, make sure that the basic listing information (business name, location, website) is correct, and if not, contact the site operator. If your business is not listed, see if there is a way to add your listing. Do not pay for this service! Legitimate rating sites are not supported by the businesses being rated! (However, a few sites offer enhanced "listings" for a small fee. Consider paying for this is the site seems to be well run and have a lot of traffic.)

Check the rating sites regularly. You might actually get some good information on how customers see your business, and where you need to make improvements.

Encourage your patrons to rate your business. Satisfied customers will give you good ratings. (Don't try to "flood" a rating site with bogus reviews; many of these sites use algorithms to detect the source of ratings, and may even remove businesses that try to cheat.)

If you get a bad review, there's probably not much you can do about it. The rating and review sites are on pretty solid legal ground, and most will not remove bad reviews. However, some sites have a mechanism for responding to a review, so be sure to ask about this. If nothing else, you can submit your own review and calmly refute the complaints of other reviewers. Be careful to stay calm and professional, and not get into online debates that can damage your credibility.

In the end, business success is still based on word of mouth - but now more people are listening.

Bob Nicholson / WYGK Consulting provides business, technology and strategic consulting for small businesses, internet start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Visit http://www.wygk.com

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Forbes

Traditional Versus Digital PR: Is There A Need For Both?
Forbes
The last two decades have been a whirlwind of change. Email, social media, instant messaging -- there are now more ways to communicate with each other than ever before, and unsurprisingly, this revolution is changing the way that people consume ...


Entrepreneur

Defining Your Box to Think Out of The Box in PR
Entrepreneur
A good PR Strategy is a way forward to all of this. The demand for PR to promote a brand name has been there since ages. If you are a new company or a startup, a good PR practice will help you to build an industry presence, a known name among its ...


Forbes

Beyond 'Star Trek': The PR Power Of Star Power
Forbes
As part of what was called “Team Takei,” we worked closely with George to provide public relations (PR) support for the launch of his paid augmented reality app, House of Cats. The augmented reality app allows users to add dialogue to the character ...


PerkettPR Rebrands as Mindfull Marketing + PR
PR Newswire (press release)
BOSTON, Oct. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- PerkettPR, an award-winning provider of results-based public relations and strategic marketing communications, today announced that on its twentieth anniversary, it has rebranded to Mindfull Marketing + PR.

and more »

Born Free USA Selects Orange Orchard as PR Agency of Record
PR Newswire (press release)
WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Born Free USA, a leading nonprofit animal welfare and wildlife conservation organization, has selected Orange Orchard, a global public relations agency specializing in animal-friendly and environmentally ...


Gamasutra

Get a job: Join the Digital Extremes team as a PR Manager
Gamasutra
You are the PR ninja to our space ninjas in Warframe. You can whip up clever, on-point press materials in your sleep, you thrive on creating PR strategies that go beyond traditional media outreach and your lightning-quick problem-solving skills turn ...


Living In Digital Times Taps Varney Business Communication For Public Relations For CES™ 2019®
PR Newswire (press release)
NEW YORK, Oct. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Living in Digital Times, LLC (LIDT) today announced that it has engaged Varney Business Communications as its public relations team handling all media relations for CES 2019 in Las Vegas, January 6-11, 2019.

and more »

Aljazeera.com

PR and politics: 'Davos of the Desert' sees mass cancellations
Aljazeera.com
It was hailed as the start of Saudi Arabia's revamping of its oil-based economy, but a week before its opening the second edition of the kingdom's prestigious economic Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference has turned into a PR disaster for the ...

and more »

PRWeek

Former pro cyclist Tom Copeland launches PR agency PaceUp
PRWeek
Former British professional cyclist Tom Copeland and ex-Fusion Media PR manager Samuel Doll have set up a cycling and adventure sport-focused PR shop to help brands get more out of cycling sponsorship and other adventure sports. PaceUp Media will ...


HealthNewsReview.org

Problematic PR releases: As evidence lags on proton therapy, hospitals lure patients with anecdotes and high-tech ...
HealthNewsReview.org
A news site echoed a Beaumont PR release touting “greater precision” from proton therapy. In this case, the release was rewritten as a news story under the byline of a transportation and business reporter for the Ann Arbor (Mich.) News, without any ...

and more »
Google News

PR Is Just Smart Business

The name of the game is doing our part to... Read More

How to Write a Press Release

Why You Should Write Press Releases: A press release is... Read More

PR: Lets Talk Fundamentals

How much more fundamental can you get than this? As... Read More

When Managers Play the PR Card

The payoff for business, non-profit or association managers can be... Read More

TV Reporter Shares the Secrets to Getting Covered on the News

Do you have a great idea for a story, but... Read More

Make the Media Your Friend

The media (newspaper, radio, television) can be of enormous help... Read More

Leveraging Media Coverage - Your Tool For Business Growth

Media relations, simply put, is the business of building and... Read More

Whats Important About PR?

Quite a bit, actually. Public relations helps business, non- profit... Read More

Marketing-Minded Financial Planners: Get Free Publicity by Choosing the Right Outlets

Sure, any publicity is good. But don't invest time and... Read More

Why PR is a Vital Force

Because it can alter individual perception and lead to changed... Read More

Publicity: Polls and Surveys Are a Great Path Free Publicity

When I search Google News for "surveys," I get nearly... Read More

Building Community Support for Project Permitting, Construction, and Marketing

Redevelopment is replacing new construction throughout the Greater Boston area,... Read More

Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, Join Your Professional Organization to Get Free Publicity

Unlike some professionals like lawyers and doctors, financial planners aren't... Read More

Competition in the News Creates Spin

In larger cities with many outlets they are competing for... Read More

Publicity - How To Get Your Story on Television

A press release telling about "Stevie, the Water-Skiing Squirrel" will... Read More

Do-It-Yourself Public Relations

"Advertising is what you pay for. Publicity is what you... Read More

Grow Your Financial Planning Practice by Taking Your Publicity National

Think that you aren't big enough for national media coverage?... Read More

Pressure From the Top?

Yes, and that pressure often comes from a CEO who... Read More

Publicity: A Financial Planners Best Marketing Friend

There's an old African proverb:"If you think you are too... Read More

Hey, Mr/Ms Manager!

Does it really make sense to bet your PR budget... Read More

Be Patient? Nah, Lets Kill Something

There's the old joke about the two buzzards sitting in... Read More

Five Great News Stories You?re Sitting On Right Now

Smaller companies don't always have the budget - or inclination... Read More

Are You Sure You Know What Youre Doing?

Because when it comes to public relations, non-believers can produce... Read More

PRs Big Bang Theory

Lots of theories out there about public relations.Everything from "publicity's... Read More

Driving Near School Buses in Company Vehicles

School BusesWhen approaching a school bus: Slow down; If the... Read More