What Two Ruined Reputations Can Teach Us about Avoiding Personal Privacy and Social Media Mishaps

Joe Chierotti
Joe Chierotti SEO Strategist, InternetReputation.com

Posted on June 10th 2014

What Two Ruined Reputations Can Teach Us about Avoiding Personal Privacy and Social Media Mishaps

Internal Filter for an Online World

Reputation Management is too often a forgotten story in today's competition for an online presence, and Internet Reputation Management companies are even further away from people's thoughts.

Whether through social media, camera cell phones, or anything in between, people are too often uncaring of what the consequences can be. Two recent stories bring to light the difficulties people face. One was a successful executive for Paypal, the other the owner of the L.A. Clippers.

Social Media Mishaps and Rants

Rakesh "Rocky" Agrawal was a newly hired strategy guide for PayPal when he let loose with a series of twitter posts, which ended his position at PayPal. Donald Sterling is the former owner of the L.A. Clippers.  Earlier this year his reputation was ruined when a private conversation that was secretly recorded was made public. For one it is likely to late to assist, for the other, there may still be time.

We are not here to judge others or to decide if they were bad, good, or anything else. Instead let us focus on the consequences of these actions and how we can avoid such missteps in the future.  

  • The most normal suggestion would be to not make the mistakes in the first place because to be honest these types of mistakes are just that, mistakes. However being human, people are bound to make mistakes which may hinder their reputation. In this sense Rakesh "Rocky" Agrawal made the fatal error in sharing his thoughts via twitter.
  • The next suggestion to maintaining your online reputation would be to avoid using social media for any purposes other than promoting your own personal brand. Whether that is a business or just your reputation, you have an image to maintain and the best way to do so, is to avoid all communication through social media which does not highlight and benefit that reputation.
  • If the above two are not possible, then people need to work on a filter through which they can pass their words. A personal “non-techie” kind of filter which allows them to recognize that their words have consequences.  A filter which helps them recognize whether the “now” moment, is the proper moment to speak or if there is a better time for their words. This type of filter can be hard when so much of the media and many of the tech companies seem to encourage people to let go of those filters. They are however vital to maintaining your reputation.

Online Reputation Management and Publicity

We are no longer in a time when all publicity is good publicity. That time has long since gone by the wayside; we are now in a place where bad publicity can hurt us more than good publicity can help us. If Donald Sterling wrote a huge check tomorrow for a worthwhile charity, his reputation would still be just as damaged. It is now going to require the concerted effort of a bevy of professionals to help him restore that online reputation.

For those who do make a social media misstep, hiring a firm that specializes in online reputation management may be a must. It may be too late for Donald Sterling but it does not have to be too late for you. If you cannot avoid the mistake, contact such a company, and allow them to help you clean up your internet reputation. 

Joe Chierotti

Joe Chierotti

SEO Strategist, InternetReputation.com

Joe Chierotti is the lead strategist and President of Search Engine Optimization (S.E.O.) at Denver-based online reputation management company InternetReputation.com. He has been active in the field of online marketing for nearly 10 years and has advanced experience in SEO, social media and reputation marketing.  Follow his team's tweets @InternetRepu for more online reputation and SEO advice.

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