digital

Online
Reputation
Management

We are a leading agency focused on improving reputations and influencing change. We have successfully helped hundreds of clients turn around their reputations.
Contact us

We are a leading agency focused on improving reputations and influencing change

We have a heritage in the tough end of public relations and corporate affairs, and can guide you through crises, or sustained and potentially crippling issues.

Be wary

The online reputation management industry is without rules or ethical guidelines

There are plenty of operators in the online reputation management space. Many of these operators lack either the diligence to explore, or the necessary experience to understand the bigger picture.

In our experience, many think tactically (instead of strategically), and have an understanding that is far too narrow - focused solely on the various digital components: search engine optimisation (SEO), reviews, content removal policies of major publishers, and various digital tricks for boosting or hiding content on various sites or search engines. For restaurants that want reviews removed from Google, this may be enough. For high profile individuals or brands with negative online content that’s symptomatic of a larger crisis or issue, it’s an untenable risk to jump immediately into action without a cohesive strategy.

Taking shortcuts often lands you in hot water, such as being flagged for violating Google's Terms of Service - where your ranking can be penalised, and all your hard work undone. Some dodgy operators have even been exposed directly by journalists. This doesn't affect the consultant or agency you work with - this affects you.

You cannot intend to influence reputational change and arrive at a safe and successful outcome without first taking time to consider all potential stakeholders and scenarios. This is a process that requires care and thoughtfulness - you must be thorough. We caution anyone considering how they repair their reputation to not easily fall prey to practitioners that say "it's easy" and promise impossible results.

What you want is a team you can trust

As a digital-first public relations and corporate affairs agency, we approach online reputation management and influence from all angles. Our team has the breadth of experience that's required to do the job, do the right thing, and deliver results.

We deal with issues ranging from dead simple to the dreadfully complex. Some more serious crises include listed public companies and high-profile individuals being attacked in the media, Royal Commissions, large-scale class actions, extortion, sex abuse allegations, cyber-attacks, negligence leading to death, and journalists being locked up as political prisoners overseas.

After nearly two decades of developing high-level communications strategies for companies and individuals of all sizes, across all sectors, working closely with media and journalists, government, and other stakeholder groups, we are more experienced, able, and aware to assist individuals or brands in the space of online reputation management compared to other firms or practitioners. We provide a level of insight that produces nuanced strategy, sensitive to all the potential variables and stakeholders at play.

Work in this space is highly tailored, but most clients can expect comprehensive reputation audits and media monitoring, workshops that build stakeholder and risk matrix's, guidance in re-shaping brand narrative and developing critical key messaging, and production of high quality written and video content by award-winning writers and producers. Media training may also be necessary if the media cycle is ongoing, or proactive media engagement is a recommended.

Beyond that, the heartbeat of our work is our ongoing, proactive efforts via digital and traditional channels to affect change with publishers, lawyers, government, investors, private sector and boards, community groups and industry bodies. We understand all too well that we're dealing with people, and contact must be nuanced: sometimes direct, through networks, or through the use of strategic content and smart campaigns.

Peter Wilkinson

Chairman

Peter Wilkinson is a crisis management & recovery expert with over 17 years of experience in this field. Previously, Peter was one of Australia’s most respected TV journalists with over 30 years working on programs including the ABC’s This Day Tonight and Four Corners, and then Channel Nine’s ACA and 60 Minutes.

Peter is the Chair of the Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom, advocating for media freedom in Australia and Asia.

He is past Chair of the Global Communications Alliance, an organisation of corporate and public affairs agencies that specialise in crisis.

He is also past regional president (Asia/Pacific) of IPREX, one of the world’s global largest PR corporations.

He has been a member of four industry task forces, strengthening relationships between industry and government.

Since leaving journalism in 2002, he has managed successful crisis outcomes in many sectors including countering cyber-security attacks, freeing journalists’ imprisoned overseas, sexual abuse/harassment, media and social media attacks, industry restructures, product recalls, a food poisoning, mergers and acquisitions, court cases, judicial inquiries and royal commissions, countering or creating activist campaigns, pollution spills, extortion and blackmail threats, and fires/explosions.

A lot of these crises are exacerbated by social media; others, as companies’ struggle to cope with the rapid changes brought about by structural, cultural or digital transformation. The ‘recovery’ part of a crisis often involves significant change management – transformation; always with a focus on protecting and improving reputation.

When it comes to helping people or brands improve their reputation, Peter’s experience allows him to quickly identify the known and potentially unknown aspects of a situation, and propose non-inflammatory solutions through the eyes of an investigative journalist turned experienced PR and crisis management expert. He strategically oversees all elements of execution, has a careful eye, and is always a phone call away.

Sam Wilkinson

Head of digital

Sam is one of Australia’s leading specialists in reputation management. In addition to being the Head of Digital at Wilkinson Butler, he heads up the online reputation management division and is the point of contact for all clients seeking to improve the online component of their reputation.

Sam understands how critical it is that an individual or brand’s reputation remains positive across all channels and touch-points. When it’s not, he knows how to best repair, improve and protect that reputation from future incidents.

He has extensive experience developing communication and reputation strategies and running campaigns for clients of all sizes and industries, including global FMCGs, listed companies, law firms and class actions, leading medical professionals, venture capital firms, startups and more.

Sam is an expert in web development, search engine optimisation (SEO), digital marketing, advertising and social media; he has a keen eye for detail and an astute understanding of the ‘ins-and-outs’ of the changing digital landscape.

Combined with his experience in managing crises and complex issues, Sam is able to quickly analyse the moving parts in a given situation, and with an awareness of the various stakeholders and other factors that could affect certain outcomes, build a comprehensive strategy that uses both digital and traditional means to influence reputational change.

Prior to working in corporate affairs and issues management, Sam worked in the advertising industry for 8 years, employed by major multinationals including Viacom and Disney to work on world-class brands such as MTV, National Geographic, Nickelodeon and ESPN. Through this time, Sam has serviced almost all major advertising agencies, and many of the smaller independent or direct agencies.

Our experts

Supporting your team

While Peter and Sam are the primary points of contact for online reputation management, the strategy and execution are underpinned by a team of heavyweights. Wilkinson Butler's experts have a wealth of highly valuable experience, and their networks span a wide variety of sectors.

Contact us

Take control of your reputation today

+61 2 8069 9677
Request a CALLBACK
Our process

Our Approach

01

Understanding

What happened? What's being said? Conduct a full brand audit across traditional media and digital platforms and identify problems or incidents. We also monitor traditional media and digital channels, enabling us to make quick decisions.
02

Stakeholder Matrix

Who is affected? Who are we influencing? Who will respond? Who do we contact? How? This is extremely important for assessing the potential outcomes of various actions.
03

Set objectives

For most clients, it's a clean first page of Google. It needs to tell a positive story. For others, it's improving sentiment among media or other stakeholder groups.
04

Rules of Engagement

We must be aligned on a strategy regarding how to respond when any number of things happen - everyone must be on the same page. This involves developing key messaging, workshopping possible outcomes, and getting ahead of and controlling the message. Media training may be crucial.
05

Content Removal

An article, comment or review aimed at destroying your reputation? Does it contain inaccuracies? We work with publishers and top defamation lawyers to correct inaccurate material, or in some circumstances have it removed.
06

Content creation

A good content strategy focuses on increasing the frequency of quality content being published in the context of related individuals or brands. Some content we create on behalf of the clients includes websites, articles, social media pages and content, and videos. We often pitch news articles to top publishers or industry websites.
07

Ranking strategy

We devise search marketing strategies in partnership with top SEO agencies that increase the ranking of fresh, positive content. This in effect pushes down older, negative content. Our content is high quality, authoritative and SEO-optimised, so it will rank highly as fast as possible.
08

Traditional strategy

Sometimes it's easier to go straight to the source. We excel at affecting change within our networks, which include contacts across media, government, private sector and boards, law, celebrity, community groups and industry bodies.
09

Long-tail marketing considerations

Once your reputation is repaired, you will often be left with high-ranking SEO-optimised assets: a marketer’s dream. To have these without a purpose is wasteful, so we consult with our clients on what kind of websites might be useful to not only future-proof the brand, but uniquely position themselves as thought-leaders and generate strong leads.