Reputation Management: What Not to Do

Reputation management is a term that is slowly coming of age in this new quarter-millennia of online non-privacy.

Think of any news of bad press in sports, political mis-phrasing by celebs, or circulation of intimate photos; and you’ve got a world of reputation no-nos you need to learn and learn fast. Sure, you may not be NFL quarterback, a famous politician, or a high-profile actress; but your name can become mud just as easy. The internet as an unregulated real-time space allows us freedom of speech in blogs, social media, websites, forums, you name it; which is great-but also treacherous, since anyone can say anything they want to about you or your business. Here are a few musts for safeguarding your reputation online.

Do Not Be Blissfully Ignorant
No…we are not calling you ignorant, however, if you aren’t keeping an eye on your online reputation, you’re not aware of your reputation (they are the same thing), and that may make you think, you have a spotless online rep, when in reality an old flame, a business competitor, or a customer who felt slighted could be damaging your reputation, and keeping you from the personal and business success you deserve.

Do Not Undervalue the Weight of a Bad Review
As a person, you may think that posting photos of yourself at a crazy party won’t sway potential hiring companies, but it could. As a business, you might not think that one bad review will sway potential customers towards your competitor, but it could. Being aware and owning the negative photo, blog, post, or review will make you more likely to solve the dispute and bolster a potentially worsening reputation.

Do Not Post Anything You are Not Comfortable with Everyone Seeing
As it stands, the internet and anything that is uploaded there: pictures, posts, social media likes, tweets, and even searching-any activity that you do online-is available for the world to see-and not just now, but forever. So take care when posting, commenting, reviewing, and even responding to negative reviews and slanderous media; since it could easily be taken out of context and used to worsen your reputation.

Do Not Be Idle Online if a Good Reputation is Important to You
We’re not saying that in order to get a great career, a lasting relationship, or build the stability of your business that you need to have multiple social media accounts, profiles, be active in blogs and forums, and be constantly interacting; but every bit helps in creating an online image of yourself or your business brand that is your reputation. Just as others might be able to use the unregulated internet world for creating a bad reputation, so can you for the purpose of creating a positive online reputation, proactively.