Do you know they are talking about your school online? I know, I know….. You are at a fine and prestigious college or university. No one would say anything negative about your institution. All the students are bleeding your school colors, right? Let’s take a look. These are a real quotes found via Google about a very well know universities.
“Everything about this school is HORRIBLE. Parking is overpriced and oversold. They don’t offer enough online courses. The class times don’t allow you to work and go to class. The administrative staff is the worst ever.”
“What a joke. I think of this outfit as a money laundering criminal enterprise of a bunch of old hippies pretending to educate a bunch of rich spoiled young brats who’s parents are fools for wasting money on a place pretending to be a higher education with no real certification. Really, College? Come on.”
So what do you do? It is important to develop an online reputation management strategy and plan. Here are a couple of ideas to get you pointed in the right direction:
- Pay Attention: Know what is being said about you is the key. It is important to know what is being said, when and where. You have to know where to look. Google Places is a good place to start. They pull in multiple review sites into one place.
- React: When something is being said about your school, you need a clear strategy in place to react to the negative and turn it into a positive. Do you say nothing? Do you respond? A great reaction to the first HORRIBLE quote would be something like: “As a current advisor at XYZ University, I am sorry to hear about your experience. This is the exact reason that every student is assigned an advisor to help them is situations like yours. I certainly hope you expressed your feelings to your advisor. They would have been able to address some of your concerns and even elevated them to the appropriate department.” Reacting in this manner, puts your response out to the public, but also shows you care about the individual students. You might not be able to erase the negativity, but you can respond.
- Encourage Positive Reviews: Encourage current and past students to go online and post reviews about their experiences. The more positive there is out there the less the negativity rises to the top.
How is your school’s online reputation? Do you feel reviews like these could adversely affect your recruiting efforts?
Stop reading already…..go on….time to Google your school.