As a digital asset, reputation has evolved to include a vast number of online resources that can highlight beneficial and newsworthy information, while insulating your audience from negative detractors to your professional standing. The stronger the reputational foundation is to start, the easier it is to cultivate and defend a professional reputational when negative instances occur.
"Google is not a search engine. Google is a reputation-management system.
And that's one of the most powerful reasons so many CEOs have become transparent:
Online, your rep is quantifiable, findable, and totally unavoidable... once you know the
new rules, you can use it to control your image in ways you never could before."
Barry Hurd is President of In today's wired world, the new rules of brand and reputation are
123SocialMedia - a Seattle created online. Social media and the technological evolution of instant
consultancy specializing in communication has enabled every mind within reach of a keyboard
online reputation and media the ability to digitally endorse or destroy what people know about you.
management. He is a thought-
leader in helping executives
understand how they are Real world reputation created over years of established relations
perceived online: through the can now be devastated with a single keystroke.
eyes of investors, corporate
peers, industry competitors, As a digital asset, reputation has evolved to include a vast number of
social media users and the real online resources that can highlight beneficial and newsworthy
world audiences they connect information, while insulating your audience from negative detractors to
to. your professional standing. The stronger the reputational foundation is
to start, the easier it is to cultivate and defend a professional
Past projects have included
such organizations as NIKE,
reputational when negative instances occur.
TMP Worldwide, Monster.com,
Verizon Superpages, National While many professionals believe that reputation starts with
Association of Realtors, REI, communication, this is simply not true. Reputation starts with
Microsoft, and Social Media perception. The knowledge of who you are, where you come from,
Club. Barry has received press who you do business with, and how you handle previous interactions
coverage from such sources as control the split-second decision to establish and build trust.
the Seattle PI, Real Estate
Magazine, Bulldog Reporter, In the age of Google and instant information gratification, we have a
WebProNews, and The
National Law Journal
fraction of a second to establish, earn, build, maintain, and protect our
(Law.com) reputation before the perception of the audience makes this decision.
This is critical moment that never happens again.
GAMBLING ON GOOGLE
For individuals: a reputation is created by an inspired professional,
detailing an ability to execute strategic business decisions, display a
talent for a niche, and noting critical situations that were expertly
For businesses: a reputation is perceived by the parts of all the
individuals that create it, the attitude of the team from top to bottom,
the ability to manage financial changes, market shifts, product issues,
workforce evolutions, corporate responsibility, social culture, and the
ethics of the leadership.
Online reputation management has evolved far beyond the simple idea that an angry consumer or
disgruntled employee may post negative information online. It requires an educated and strategic plan
that uses established brand points to nurture positive and like-minded growth. Proper reputation
management leverages multiple communication channels to insulate professionals and companies from
sudden crisis spikes or unrelated industry changes, while also examining the root causes of both positive
and negative issues.
The importance of reputation in the minds of CEOs around the world can be seen in the following chart. It
highlights the significance of long-term factors ranging from talent acquisition, technological innovation,
This is simple data with a very significant impact.
Executives agree on the importance of reputation, however most don't have access to the information
analysis and measurement tools to improve it, and even fewer understand the action steps required to
build it as an online asset. 63% of the CEOs surveyed place reputation as being critical to long term
An excerpt from PricewaterhouseCoopers 12th Annual Global CEO Survey "Not surprisingly, most also
believe that data about their customers (94%), brand (91%) and employees (88%) are important or critical
to long-term decision-making. However, strikingly low percentages of CEOs say they have
comprehensive information in these and other critical areas that contribute to organizational agility. Just
21% have comprehensive information about the needs and preferences of customers and clients. Less
than one third feel they have all the information they need about reputation (31%) and the views and
needs of employees (30%).
"CEOs do not just want more data. They want different kinds of information than the historical financial
metrics they already have in abundance. More specifically, they want forward-looking information, which
includes non-financial data." – PricewaterhouseCoopers
How much is my reputation worth online?
We must first remember "my reputation" can be both a personal and a business reputation. This is a
question that has been debated by thousands of executives and communication experts. It is also a
mathematical dollar value driven by the marketplace and web-browsing audience.
As a quick example of reputational worth, we should compare four basic points:
When all the viewpoints come together: it is clear that online reputation plays a significant factor
in long term success just from a hiring perspective. Yet talent acquisition and retention is only one
portion of a successful business.
Where does it start? It begins with the understanding
that society at large is now turning to online search as
the basic "go to" source of information. If we have a
question or want to know more, we search for it. The
availability of online information about what we need,
what we want, who we know, and where things are
happening reaches into millions of different information
sources. This combination of data points creates an
almost unlimited mixture of previously unavailable
The volume of information and the speed it is being created is exhausting. As more and more channels of
conversation are created online, the variety of collaboration and perspective produces a significant
amount of noise to sift through. Internet users have become so prolific that one million new pieces of
content are created on blogs every day.
Search engines have attempted to provide the most relevant results when visitors search through this
massive collection of information. There are two dominant methods of having information in these results:
the organic method is to have the search engine conclude that your information has the most relevant
reason for being in the actual search results, while the paid method is to purchase advertising (commonly
referred to as pay-per-click or PPC.) This search behavior has been radically accelerated by the adoption
of social media channels such as blogs, instant messaging, mobile texting, and online video.
As individual entities, organic and paid
strategies have entirely different
methodologies when being examined for
reputational value. Yet when organic and
paid search metrics are combined with
social media trends, reputational value is
an item that begins to have a very
Significant changes appear when you
examine how social media information
(often referred to as user generated
content or online conversation) begins to
interact with how individuals find your
information online, driving substantial
changes to existing marketing, public
relations, and reputation/brand equity
“It is difficult, indeed dangerous, to underestimate the huge changes
this revolution will bring or the power of developing technologies to
build and destroy – not just companies but whole countries.”
Rupert Murdoch – Global Media Mogul
“The only way we can achieve success in workforce readiness is to
analyze the gaps that exist between where we are now and where we
need to be to remain competitive."
Joyce Walters -The Boeing Company—Corporate Offices
“Safeguarding reputation is even more critical today because
companies have developed successful ways to make reputation risk
management part of their overall risk management,”
Ellen Hexter - Director, The Conference Board