In today’s Internet age, reputation crises are common. On Facebook, hardly a day goes by without newsfeeds buzzing about a celebrity, sports figure, or politician making a gaffe and then apologizing about it. When these mistakes go viral, they enter the Internet’s permanent “memory” and become easily accessible to the public via Google (or other search engine).
Of course, you know this. What you might not know is how damaging negative Internet content can be to a person’s reputation, especially someone who works in a sensitive, highly regulated field such as financial services. As observers of the Glenn Neasham incident already know (See Part 1 in this series - link below), an arrest and conviction (wrongful in Neasham’s case) for theft or fraud can literally end a financial advisor’s career, resulting in years of financial hardship. But not all reputation crises rise to this level.
In the prior article in this series (link below), we presented a process for assessing a reputation incident, along with a three-tiered severity scale:
- Damage so minor you can safely ignore it.
- Damage of medium significance, which can grew into something larger if you ignore it.
- Damage so severe that it could literally destroy your company if you let it.
As we mentioned, medium issues might be a regulatory action for an administrative error, a negative comment about you in an article in the trade press or general media, or a pattern of negative complaints on a consumer review site. The good news: You might be able to fix a medium-level problem yourself without incurring the hassles and expense of retaining a reputation-management consultant. Here are some things to consider before you begin your DIY project.
• How to Survive a Reputation Meltdown, Part 1: How to put threats in the proper context
• How to Survive a Reputation Meltdown, Part 2: How to analyze and repair on online reputation problem
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