The urgent reasons why business leaders need to think about their reputation
The time for business leaders to control their professional reputation was yesterday. All leaders within an organisation need to understand the impact that reputations can have on themselves, and the organisation they represent. Reputation issues regarding defamation will stay online for life and can be difficult to resolve and remove. Business leaders can avoid and prevent future conflicts by undertaking a few simple personal brand control measures.
When you type your name into google, what do the first few search results look like? Is it you, or someone else that has the same name as you? If so, this unsuspecting stranger can harm your personal brand and reputation. This stranger compared to you may have a different career, hobby, interest or political opinion. As a business leader, these differences can have a detrimental impact on your professional reputation as your employer, client, or other stakeholders may accidently mistake you for your apparent online appearance and form an opinion of you based on the other ‘John Smith’.
Any individual can take control of their online brand by simply becoming more active online. Sign up for LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social medias and develop your profile to ensure when you google your name, anyone can clearly distinguish you from every other John Smith on the internet.
In addition to how you are perceived online, business leaders must also be wary of what people are saying about them too. Intentional defamation can adversely impact an individual’s reputation, especially an individual in a leadership position, regardless if the defamation claim is true or false. As business leaders are essentially the face of a business, their actions are always scrutinised and are always reflected onto the organisation they work for.
Word of mouth will only be an organisations most effective marketing tool if the message is positive. If the information that is being shared via word of mouth is intended to harm a business, it will most definitely achieve that as the word of mouth communication channel is effective and can be easily manipulated. It is effective because customers take the word of other customers very seriously as it is essentially one form of a business review.
Business leaders need to know that when faced with a case of defamation, there is something that can be done. Individuals affected can notify the defamer that their actions and words are harming their reputation and their organisations’ brand image, ask the defamer to remove the offending comment, or report the claim to social media administrators. If these attempts cannot rectify these issues, individuals and corporations are within their rights to seek legal aid.
Defamation can destroy stakeholder trust in an organisation and therefore any future and potential relationships that can ever be made. Don’t turn your back on your reputation.