It's been a while since my last blog, but that's not to say that my interest in reputation has, in any way been diminished.
Quite the opposite, in fact.
I've been studying trends in public life and following some very interesting news stories, as part of the research for my much delayed book on reputation management.
The research led me to the excellent presentation below, by psychologist Dr Paul Marsden, who, among other things, is editor of Digital Intelligence Today. It's from a couple of years ago, but the insights are very much relevant today.
p.s. I will post an update on my book as soon as I've knocked it into shape. The first draft should be out in early 2016.
Fantastic cross-section of advice from bloggers, marketers. entrepreneurs, journalists and, of course, social media experts!
Thanks to Slide Share, LinkedIn and the people at Constant Contact.
...and NEED to hang in your office.
In the time that I've been involved in reputation management, I've discovered that there are many ways to get it wrong and conversely, no one way to get it right.
There are a number of obvious 'no nos', like lying, cheating, stealing, etc and trying to cover up misdeeds. Meanwhile, being honest, working with integrity, obeying the law and being transparent don't necessarily lead to a good reputation, especially when 'darker forces' are at play.
The simple fact is that there are competitors, disgruntled customers and an army of adversaries intent on tarnishing an individual or organisation's name.
We live in crazy times, folks!
Today sees another interesting take on managing your reputation. This time, it's from online marketing manager, Eric Jackson.
As a huge fan of TV series Person of Interest, I couldn't help but start off this blog post with a variation of the voiceover introduction to each episode: "You are being hacked. Cybercriminals have a secret system: a network of data thieves that search for your information every hour of every day."
Such were the findings of Bitglass, a data protection and internet, mobile and cloud security broker.
To track how stolen consumer data is used, the firm created a file of fake credit card information and released it on upload sites and the so-called 'darknet', seen by many as the playground for cybercriminals.
Bitglass watermarked the dummy document, so they received an alert each time it was opened or downloaded. The results over a fortnight were staggering: the file was opened nearly 1,100 times in 22 countries spanning the globe. Of course, due to the standard practice of darknet users masking their IP addresses, there was no way to find out how many times the document was actually read or by how many people.
There was evidence that attempts were made to use the made up credit card details, with the main concentration of people accessing the fake files located in Russia and Nigeria.
The potential impact on reputation is obvious: from fake identities created in your name, unauthorized purchases being made and, perhaps worst of all, crimes being committed in your name.
As is increasingly being acknowledged - especially by data security experts - there's no way to stop security breaches. There are too many 'moving parts' - from disgruntled employees to lax systems - so it's imperative to exercise a forensic approach to how your information is being stored, used....and potentially misused both on and offline.
To quote another of my favourite TV shows, Hill Street Blues: "Let's be careful out there."
Most of the advice on this website has been provided from the perspective of journalists, marketers and social media experts.
Today, I thought I would feature an insight into brand/reputation management from the viewpoint of a lawyer.
The fundamentals in Blake Morgan senior solicitor Ben Evans' presentation will be familiar to regular readers of this blog, but he raises some very interesting points and highlights some excellent examples that will help you deal with the challenging issue of reputational risk in your personal and professional lives.
I came across a recent article in the Guardian in which Reputation.com founder Michael Fertik reportedly predicted a time when 'numerous decisions will be made about each of us – about our lives and careers...based on reputation alone."
I couldn't agree more.
All I would add is that this applies as much to companies as it does to individuals.
The 'old way' of doing things, including relying on a dominant market position, rather than embracing relatively new ways of working using methods like social customer relationship management, is fast becoming a liability with potentially catastrophic consequences.
Reputations can be gained - or lost - at the speed of light, so it's become critical to avoid the obvious pitfalls.
Your Brand Guard has put together an excellent infographic highlighting some of the main ones.
Today's video (from Ikeepsafe.org) features insights into the importance of reputation for parents and young people - and the consequences when things go wrong.
For many young people, what could start out as (and be seen) as 'harmless fun' can often have a devastating impact on their personal, social and future professional lives.
At the time of writing this post, there are 102 days, 18 hours and 53 minutes remaining before the UK General Election. One of the hottest topics at the moment is the leaders' debate. Broadcasters have now published their plans for hosting two-hours of gladiatorial gabbing by a mix of the main and smaller parties.
With so much to fight for - especially between the biggest parties success in convincing the voting population to support them is crucial. and could make all the difference between and outright victory, the 'pain' of a coalition, or worst still, an 'embarrassing' defeat.
We all know that senior politicians are slick, sophisticated and well seasoned when it comes to making their point, while at the same time hammering the competition. The more experienced ones can hold the attention of a stadium full of people and move them to action. They are the ultimate champions when it comes to public speaking.
Not everyone could (or would want to) do this, but it's still a useful skill to have. Below is a video to help you get started.
Thoughts on customer service, communication and, of course, reputation management.