Reputation Repair : 3 steps to recover a damaged Reputation
Reputation management is the practice of identifying an exceptional brand value and promoting which value intentionally and strategically within a target market. Alternately, it may be to make a credible new in a new and expanding marketplace or even construct a new target audience.
Reputation management also has reputation repair. Most people think that only politicians and actors that misstep or becoming caught in compromising situations will need to worry about their reputation, but in fact, everyone from college students to senior executives must mind the way they are perceived and — even when a destructive event does occur — right a damaged personal brand.
As a professional in reputation management and private branding, we frequently receive questions about reputation fixing from potential customers around the globe. Recently we have received inquiries from:
• A medical doctor accused of sexual assault on a patient. The media took his story and is running it on the daily news
• A business executive who admits to being a Social Networking novice and is being attacked by his social-savvy competitor Who’s spreading rumors on the internet about his credibility and track record
• A property tycoon outside of the United States that was accused of impropriety by her colleagues and ousted from the company she founded
While such cases may seem extreme, public humiliation and reputation endanger can and do occur. And every case and client’s situation is unique. We frequently work with legal organizations, public relations professionals and even boards of supervisors as we work to deal with the public awareness of high-profile individuals. Regardless of the specific Conditions, for a reputation-repair situation below are the steps we take:
1. Assess the damage.
Is that a case of hurt feelings or actual reputation damage? Sometimes, our clients get upset over nasty comments posted online, in the networking or on their network. Then, once we assess understanding in critical markets, we find that the comments are seen as the only gossip and we’ll will, and haven’t impacted our customer’s credibility or company value.
In cases of online reputation attacks which do damage credibility, the measurement and assessment of that damage need to occur in the right context. If our client initiated a light conversation, and online audiences responded negatively, we must assess the price of that negative feedback concerning the perception of our client as a provocative notion leader.
2. Compute your degree of control.
Along the way, it’s important to understand what we have control over and that which we must leave. On the internet, we see lots of cases of “mob mentality,” where a single individual arouses fury, and many others pile on quickly and recklessly. This has been the situation for many of our customers, and while the mob may proceed to a different cause after a while… Our client’s reputation is left in shambles.
Most crisis-communications professionals counsel customers not to take part in internet battles — due to the several unknowns and variables. That approach has to be weighed against doing nothing and being seen as complacent and weak. In assessing a reply, we have to look at what we can control: our actions and behavior, but not the actions of others. When we have the chance to share my customer’s side of the story, we might choose to do that in a controlled manner, via a press conference, a website post, or a letter to an editor, instead of a Facebook post.
3. Think ‘big picture.’
If the harm is significant and also the options to control and divert the eye seem slender, assessing long-term consequences becomes necessary. For one client, rebuilding his reputation meant starting over in his field. That said working for agencies under his abilities and re-earning the hope of crucial stakeholders to reestablish his credibility and articulate his values to those who purchased from him.
Without this strategy, he’d have been in danger of running into resistance from those who knew of him just from the news.
In a different case, a client might decide to relocate their loved ones, change careers or change names, depending on the long-term impact of the damage done. These are extreme measures that need to be considered only in the most severe instances. In some other cases, calculated and deliberate brand re-building can make more sense, personally and professionally.
In the long run, reputation repair isn’t for the faint of heart — it requires a serious and thoughtful strategy. A reputation relies on understanding, behavior, and values. While there are online solutions, PR remedies and media strategies to deploy, the real work of rebuilding trust and credibility begins and ends, with the private brand.