What is reputation management

What Is Reputation Management, Anyway?

By Communications, Public Relations

Public relations firms have begun to adopt a descriptor that I think more accurately describes what some of us do; reputation management. The term originated with the internet and Marijean Jaggerssearch engine results and has been used by companies promising to rid your company of all those nasty negative posts and comments that damage your brand’s reputation. As used here, and by Jaggers Communications, it is the practice of applying smart communications to tell the story of your business in a way that, yes, affects search results when one goes looking for information about your brand, but also the longer-term effect of educating, changing perceptions and establishing who you are, what you do, and what you do well.

I refer to my firm as a reputation management firm. I find that it’s far easier a concept for people to understand than public relations ever was. I remember comparing notes with others in public relations for years on the question, “does your family understand what it is that you do?” Our families often didn’t!

I think that lack of understanding has dissipated somewhat. I think there is more of a general, global understanding of social media and its impact; of the need for companies to have a communications strategy in place, and to be sharing the news of their business frequently and consistently.

What do you think? Has reputation management replaced public relations in the communications business?

Reputation Management of Tiger Woods

By Uncategorized

If you have not yet read Tiger Woods’ My Turn essay “How I’ve Redefined Victory” in this week’s Newsweek, give it a quick read. I’ll wait.

Do you feel a little sick?

My first reaction was “too little, too late.”  That reaction was the same as what many people had with Tiger’s press conference apology in August, nine months after his highly publicized car accident.

Tiger Woods had a short window of opportunity at the very beginning of his infidelity coming to light, to step up, apologize and work diligently on recovery. He waited though; hid, actually, as more and more damaging information came out.

Throughout that time I had sympathy for his public relations team because I was sure they were advising him to come forward and there’s nothing more frustrating than having a client who refuses to take good counsel.

The second issue I have with Tiger’s essay is the thick layer of spin. There’s hardly a word in the essay that strikes me as written by anyone other than a PR person (and that’s coming from me, a PR person). It’s the kind of effort that would have been better offered a year ago, but with more authenticity than the carefully crafted B.S. about making mac and cheese for his kids or his nights spent alone channel-surfing.

It’s clear that Tiger’s people are selling him as an everyman; we’re supposed to identify with him and have empathy.

Are you buying it?

There are numerous examples of philanderers who have recovered their reputations after getting caught in compromising positions (I asked for suggestions on Twitter once and had several replies).

It’s possible that Tiger will recover his reputation, but his team has a long road ahead.