Published on November 17th, 2010 by Alan L Sklover
“Glass, china and a reputation
are easily cracked and never mended.”
– Benjamin Franklin
ACTUAL CASE HISTORY*: Over a 25-year period Megan, 43, had climbed her way up the “fashion ladder” from department store salesgirl to Visual Director of one of the world’s most famous fashion houses. Somehow, along the way she managed to pick up a Masters Degree in Design, several prestigious fashion design awards, and frequent invitations to speak at fashion expos.
Her gradual climb, though, took a bad step in 2009 when – for some unknown reason – an anonymous blogger wrote that she thought Megan had incorporated ideas and images from other Visual Directors into her own visual displays. The allegations were 100% untrue. Nonetheless, the world of visual fashion display was abuzz about these blog postings. Megan was crestfallen.
Things only got worse. First, in Megan’s defense, several of her good friends posted blog articles of their own defending her, which seemed only to further spread the “poison” all around the internet. Second, though time passed, Megan noted that, when she put her own name into Google and other search engines, she seemed to find more and more mentions of this allegation. Then she received a telephone call notifying her that an invitation to speak at a fashion design dinner had been withdrawn for no apparent reason. Finally, she received an email from an executive recruiter she knew asking her if she knew what was “all over the internet” about her.
Megan requested our “reputation repair” help in addressing the situation, a situation we are seeing more and more of our clients experience. We have learned over time that there are steps a person can take to decrease the chances of such a thing happening, and to take if something does happen, despite precautions. We helped Megan clear up the negative references, and have now expanded our law firm practice to include these “reputation repair” services.
LESSON TO LEARN: In this “internet era” it is all too easy to lose a good reputation. Everyone who is employed or wants to be employed needs to both be vigilant about their reputations, and aggressive in repairing their reputations if damage takes place. Entire careers can be lost in a moment in this way.
Because so many of our clients have experienced the loss of their good reputations, and have asked us to assist in repairing them, we have learned – and are learning more and more each day – about what can be done in terms of “reputation repair.”
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Here are ten (10) steps you can take to both (a) monitor and (b) repair, your own online reputation so as to ensure that your employment and career remain undamaged: