Who knew it would come to this? In today’s social-media era, our reputation consists of what people say about us online. When friends, colleagues, and strangers rave about us—liking our posts, sharing our content, tweeting our exploits—then our reputations soar. But when people tear us down, either because of something we’ve done or because of the malicious words of others, then our reputations can implode, wrecking havoc on our lives, both online and off.
In today’s Internet age, reputation crises are common. On Facebook, hardly a day goes by without newsfeeds buzzing about a celebrity, sports figure, or politician making a gaffe and then apologizing about it. When these mistakes go viral, they enter the Internet’s permanent “memory” and become easily accessible to the public via Google (or other search engine).
After being convicted several years ago for selling an annuity to a woman later diagnosed with dementia, Glenn Neasham faced a reputation crisis. He probably didn’t need to do much analysis to know his good name had been seriously tarnished. But for other advisors with negative content online, as well as for professionals in other fields, a thorough assessment is the first step in reputation recovery.