When I was a child, my grandmother provided good advice, “Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to read about on the front page of the paper.” I may not have the quote exactly right, but I remember exactly where we were standing when she said it, and I know what she meant. She wasn’t talking about winning the Super Bowl, the Lottery or even solving world peace. She was talking about the small town newspaper, which tended to cover crime, controversy and calamity.
After three decades in the media business, it’s my first nature to keep my head down and adhere to my Grandmother’s advice.
Don’t seek too much attention. It’s ingrained in me to think carefully about living loudly. Imagine what advice my grandmother would give today about the Internet. It would go something like this, “Tend to your garden, when a weed crops up, make sure you deal with it…otherwise the weed will take over your garden.”
So here are five things to consider as you tend your garden (reputation):
1) You Are Not Alone
There’s hardly a person or business out there that hasn’t been impacted negatively by reputation issues on the internet.
2) Don’t Procrastinate
Don’t wait until something happens to you, act proactively regarding your reputation.
3) Find Resolution Swiftly
Ideally, resolve things before the only way it is resolved is in a public forum.
4) Plan For Feedback
Have a plan in place for how to handle on-line criticism. The impact of one or two negative comments can be greatly reduced if handled well.
5) Seek Professional Advice
If you think this isn’t a good use of your time, it’s worth it to let an expert help you.