FAQ: Reputation Risk Monitoring

The world has changed dramatically, and protecting your reputation online has never been more important. In this article, we answer some of the most common questions that we're asked about our Reputation Risk Monitoring service.

Computer code on a screen

The world has changed dramatically. Protecting your reputation online has never been more important. 

A single, one-off reputational risk can quickly coalesce into a harmful media story, which runs the risk of sitting on the Internet for decades into the future, ruining your reputation, career and business prospects.

Frequently asked questions

In this article, we answer some of the most common questions that we're asked about our Reputation Risk Monitoring service.

How does it work?

We use a blend of cutting-edge technology and human intelligence. Our proprietary software monitors information sources for a very broad range of key terms that may signal that you, your family or businesses are at risk. Our team of communications experts will review alerts manually to assess whether they present a risk to your reputation.

What terms do you monitor?

We monitor a very wide range of terms, including not only your name, but associates’ names, family members, businesses, competitors, companies, postcodes, email addresses, phone numbers and much else besides.

Who will be my point of contact?

Transmission Private's Reputation Risk Monitoring is a fully-managed service. You will be looked after by a dedicated personal communications manager responsible for monitoring mentions of you, evaluating their risk potential, and sharing them with you if they need urgent attention.

You will be able to contact your personal account manager at any time if you have concerns about your risk exposure.

How do you determine which sources to monitor?

Our service is comprehensive. It is designed to cover every source of potential information that could pose a reputational risk to private clients.

Who is this service designed for?

It has been designed with the unique needs of private clients in mind, including entrepreneurs, executives, investors, charity and political donors, politicians, high-net-worth individuals, family offices and family businesses.

What is the responsibility of my personal relationship manager?

They are your single point of contact. Every private client has slightly different needs. It is your personal manager’s responsibility to understand the unique blend of risks you are exposed to, and use that to inform their judgement on whether a new piece of content may expose you or your family to risk.

If you spot an urgent risk, how will you alert me?

As part of setting up the service, we will discuss your preferred method of communication. If we spot an urgent risk, we can contact you either via phone, email, or instant messenger.

You can also ask us to contact an emergency contact, such as a family or staff member.

How is the risk level determined?

Our team has decades of communications and PR experience. Your personal relationship manager will make a manual assessment of whether each mention poses ‘No Risk’, ‘Potential Risk’, or ‘Immediate Risk’.

How will you report on non-urgent risks?

Your personal relationship manager will collate non-urgent material that mentions you, your family and businesses. This will be shared with you at the end of month via email.

How often will I hear from you?

This will change over time depending on the number of risks identified. We are usually in contact with our clients in the region of once per week, sometimes much more.

What happens if you spot a risk?

We are recommendation led. If we spot a risk, we will share with you a suggested course of action to resolve this risk as soon as possible, such as engagement with the source, legal action or preparation for a crisis.

What happens if I need further communication support?

Transmission Private is a full-service communications agency for private clients. If you need specialist advice at any point, we will be there to support you immediately. This support will be billed at a transparent agency rate.

How many family members does Reputation Risk Monitoring cover?

There is no standard number. We will generally try to bring all family members into monitoring for our standard subscription. If the volume of coverage or social media content is especially high, it may be necessary to develop a bespoke package.

How many online news websites and blogs do you monitor?

Excluding social media content, we monitor more than 1 million news websites and blogs around the clock and our software sifts through more than 10 million pieces of new news content every day.

Do you monitor in multiple languages?

Yes. The Internet is global. A risk in another country or language is just as important as a mention in your home territory or language. We monitor content in 76 languages across 230 countries.

Which social media networks do you monitor?

We monitor all major social media networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Tumblr. On a case-by-case basis, we also monitor large non-English networks, such as VK (Russia) and Sina Weibo (China), if a risk exists for a client.

Can you monitor websites that are protected by passwords?

Yes. We use technology that allows us to monitor websites that are protected by passwords, such as password-protected social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.

On a case-by-case basis, we also add specific websites to our monitoring that may be protected by passwords, such as closed industry discussion forums, if a risk exists for a client.

Why do you monitor physical media?

A number of influential publications still do not have an online presence, including many local newspapers, trade publications and other magazines, such as Private Eye in the UK. Harmful material can sometimes start in these publications, so we believe it is important to have visibility of these information sources too.

What physical media do you monitor?

We monitor physical editions of all major national newspapers, local newspapers and trade publications in the UK.

On a case-by-case basis, we will also monitor non-English and overseas physical publications, if a risk exists for a client.

Why do you monitor public filings?

A large number of harmful stories start from public filings, such as land registry filings or court documents. It is critical to identify these before they are spotted by other people.

How do you monitor rich media, such as photographs and videos?

Many photographs and videos will contain references to you or family members in the image file name, description or tags. We also upload all known public images of you to our software, which will alert us if they have been posted elsewhere.

What is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web is an encrypted part of the Internet that is only accessible through specialised software, such as Tor. The DarkWeb is often used to both buy and sell caches of personal data.

What do you monitor on the Dark Web?

We monitor for mentions of you and your family members’ names, emails, phone numbers and other personal information in data caches that are traded on the Dark Web.

Do you monitor changes to online material too?

Yes. We also monitor changes to pre-existing content about you online. This may be the addition of comments to old news articles, changes to Wikipedia profiles, or changes to existing biographies about you on company websites.

How quickly do you pick up risks?

We work as close to real-time as possible. The time it takes to pick up a reference will depend on the information channel – from almost immediately on social media to a few hours on less frequently trafficked, smaller blogs.

Why should I not use Google Alerts or a convention media monitoring platform?

I am not mentioned regularly. Is this service for me?

This service is exactly for you. A single, one-off reputational risk can quickly coalesce into a harmful media story, which runs the risk of sitting on the Internet for decades into the future, ruining your reputation, career and business prospects.

Shouldn't I just wait until a risk presents itself and take action then?

No. Misinformation sits on social media for an average of 14 hours before it is corrected, according to research from the University of Warwick. At this point, the damage is usually done. It is almost impossible to remove a negative news story once it found its way to the press. Prevention is the key and requires you to spot risks as early as possible, so concrete action can be taken.

Next: Read about the information sources that we monitor →

Transmission Private publishes a monthly newsletter that tracks the future of reputation management for private clients.

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Transmission Private publishes a monthly newsletter that tracks the future of reputation management for private clients.