10 Reputation Mistakes You're Making Right Now

1. Ignoring gossip: By its nature you cannot hear it, but it affects you whether you are listening or not.

2. Waiting for complaints: People attack in packs. Early intervention means seeking out customer unhappiness while they are still too timid to "make trouble."

3. Making excuses for no metrics: Google Search is a metric. Twitter js one. Social Mention.com is free and easy to understand. It costs you nothing.

4. Avoiding the details: Details are not exciting to big-picture types. But a little nail can puncture your tires. Check the fine print.

5. Not communicating to employees: Communication means listening and talking. You can convey confidence and stability just by creating a space for interchange. Nothing new need be said. You can always collect questions.

6. Surrounding yourself with yes-men: It amazes me that anyone still does this. A friend told me my pin was ugly today. Thank you!

7. Avoiding social media: In 2013 if you still can't find your way around LinkedIn, please pay someone to do a profile at the very least. And connect with at least 50 people.

8. Understaffing the PR function: Call us flacks, hacks or spin-meisters. I really don't care. Someone has to translate the simplistic outside view for people internal to the organization who simply specialize in other things.

9. Devaluing sympathetic audiences: Life is like high school - we chase people who disapprove of us, so we can join the cool clique. That is understandable. But it is also a bias and a potentially fatal mistake. Never take your supporters for granted.

10. Overinvesting in the Web: Oh, your castle. Where you have your couch set up just so, and the bookshelves from Ikea. Guess what? Nobody wants to make the trip to your house! See #7: Get thee a specialist in social media engagement.

Reputation management is for every day. It is like brushing your teeth, or getting on the scale. Make sure to weigh in regularly - before you have to take out your pants.


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, www.AllThingsBrand.com and www.DannielleBlumenthal.com, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.