Reputation is extremely fragile, like a mirror, requiring you to nurture it and care for it with devotion. However, it can be damaged in a matter of minutes and much like a broken mirror, may never allow you to put it back together. This makes it necessary for you to see that you watch over it and manage it with the utmost attention. Online reputation is essentially the same, except that you will never know where the attack is coming from, requiring you to stay alert for the slightest whiff of trouble at all times. Let’s quote Warren Buffet here, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”, to drive this thought home better than any of the myriad real life examples which prove this point.
The Internet hears and sees everything and forgets nothing. This makes the task of online reputation management very difficult. Let’s look at some opinions expressed by business leaders, politicians and intelligentsia in the matter of online management, which help to throw light on its importance and its fragility and guide us on how to protect it. Let’s look at some of them and see what their message is conveying to us.
‘Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is’
– Chris Anderson, journalist and writer. This would include all the things that you have put out there, along with the comments and opinions posted by literally anyone online about you, with or without identifying themselves! We really must hope for competitors with some scruples.
‘The best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google search results!’
–Dharmesh Shah, Founder & CTO, Hubspot. Most people do not look beyond page 1 and if we fail to be among the top hits on a Google search, we may expect no real results from our online marketing efforts. Turn this thought around, and try hiding any negative information about your brand through sending them to the second page to successfully manage your reputation.
‘Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room’
– Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.He also said ‘A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.’Both are pertinent for online as well as offline reputations, for individuals and corporates alike.
‘Our reputation is more important than the last hundred million dollars’
– Rupert Murdoch states the financial side of reputation damage without mincing any words.
‘MySpace is like a bar, Facebook is like the BBQ you have in your back yard and LinkedIn is the office’.
– Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn. As LinkedIn keeps experimenting with its format and services, these equations could change and may even vanish one day soon. However, it’s true that social networks an essential part of online presence management for a brand or its products, as they offer a company an opportunity to share its culture or values like superior customer service
‘If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place’
– Eric Schmidt, Ex-CEO, Google. Voicing one of the most truthful statements ever for reputation, both online or offline. All your blogs, photos, videos, tweets, statements, posts, forums, press commentaries etc. have the potential to work for you and also against you, unless you are careful.
‘For a business leader somewhat in the spotlight, it is impossible to hide’
– Cédric Manara, renowned Internet Lawyer, putting in perspective, the impossibility of enjoying a private life, when one is in the spotlight. Be it a spouse’s death or a divorce, it becomes impossible for most of them to grieve in private and stay away from prying eyes. If the event threatens one’s reputation, containment becomes even harder, if not impossible. It makes prevention a priority, as with the other nasty things in life.
‘As a general rule, a reputation is built on manner as much as on achievement’,
– Joseph Conrad, renowned author in his book Secret Agent. This holds equally true for the behaviour of human beings as it does to their online interactions.
‘Unfortunately, your reputation often rests not on your ability to do what you say, but rather on your ability to do what people expect’,
– Bryant H. McGill, renowned author. We can see the truth of this when we witness the brutal trolling faced by well-meaning statements and assurances, especially from political leaders.
‘Reputation is an outcome; but it is also a valuable, strategic asset’,
– Andrew Griffin, a well known technology editor. Anyone whose reputation took a beating online would readily agree with him.
‘In a digitally connected world a byte of data can boost or bite your brand’,
– Bernard Kelvin Clive, renowned author and thinker. This is one of his mantra for online brand building.
‘A good reputation is more valuable than money’,
– Publilius Syrus, a renowned Latin writer. We agree with him.
‘If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they will do business with you’,
– Zig Ziglar, a renowned author. The same holds true for one’s online reputation management.
‘The reputation of a thousand years may be undermined by the conduct of one hour’,
– a Japanese Proverb, which has obviously stood the test of time to stay relevant to this day.
‘Gain a modest reputation for being unreliable and you will never be asked to do a thing’,
– Paul Therouxin, a renowned writer. An insightful quote which should put us on guard.
‘Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be’
– John Wooden in another great quote. He has also said to ‘Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.’
Publicity is absolutely crucial. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad’,
– Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group.
‘The secret of crisis management is not good vs. bad, it’s preventing the bad from getting worse’,
– Andy Gilman, Founder of CommCore.
‘Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition’,
– Abraham Lincoln, former President of the United States, in this highly inspirational quote.
‘There is no professional or personal anymore. There’s simply your brand, and it’s up to you to determine whether your brand is affected positively or negatively. That’s it. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong’,
– Peter Shankman, renowned entrepreneur and editor – summing up the entire wisdom available on online reputation management.
To avoid situations which can damage your reputation, set up a monitoring system that will anticipate the risks to your reputation and help you to control the damage in time. Monitoring is an essential and unavoidable aspect of online reputation management these days.
Listen to the demands on your brand, so that you can react to contain the damage, before it can spread like wild fire and go completely out of control! Talk to us today, to learn how Auris can help you achieve your goals.