Online Listening: Find out what the Internet is saying about you!

We all have that one friend that lacks a filter and isn’t afraid to share the brutal truth. In today’s era of technology, that friend is called Social Media. Don’t be the organization that finds out what the world thinks after misinformation becomes a viral nightmare. It is important to take the time to look, listen and respond quickly to prevent a viral crisis.

Lucky for us, there are several FREE listening tools to find out what just what is being said. Not only are these tools free, but once set up they will automatically send notifications via email letting you know your organization was mentioned. These tools will allow you to address both internal and external reputational threats.

Think of this type of online reputation monitoring as a form of crisis control. Negative information shared on the Internet can make people think twice about the integrity of your organization. The quicker you respond to an unfavorable message, the greater chance you have to step out of the spotlight. Slow response times cannot only destroy an organization’s reputation, but it can cause for a team breakdown as well. A speedy response reaffirms strong leadership and sends the message that the public’s trust is number one.

Listening to social media feedback should be a customer service priority. For those expressing unhappiness online, offer them the opportunity to take the conversation offline to find resolution. Be sure to value the person’s viewpoint by exploring the issues and the impact of the event. If an error was made, be sure to apologize for the poor experience and offer a corrective action plan.

Here are some FREE tools to get you started in managing your fire department’s online reputation:

  • Google Alerts:  Google Alerts will email you the most up-to-date Google results based on your query.  You can set the query to alert you when someone mentions your organization’s name.
  • Social Mention:  This is another free tool that provides real-time social media search and analysis.
  • Twilert:  This tool will monitor what’s being said about your organization on Twitter.  You can use this to get emails alerting you to department mentions and hashtags across Twitter.
  • TweetBeep: This is another great tool to get alerts hourly when mentioned on Twitter.
  • TalkWalker Alerts: Monitor the Web for content about your name, events or any topic.

Did you find this article helpful?  Be sure to sign up for Monday Morning E-Tips to have FREE resources to help Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 7.13.39 PMmanage your organization’s reputation delivered to your inbox.  This is a free service of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association, the leader in reputation management in the fire service.  

Candice McDonald is a firefighter/EMS officer with the Winona (Ohio) Fire Department and works for NASA in emergency management. She is also a member of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association Reputation Management Committee. Currently she is pursuing a PhD in human services: disaster, crisis & intervention. McDonald holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership, a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and associate’s degree in health and human services. She is a contributing author to numerous publications and has traveled the country for the past 15 years empowering individuals and organizations. Visit 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s