In an academic study, the ranking of a company’s CEO showed parallels to their company’s reputation. CEOs have a significant impact on the reputation of their company - up to 70%. Unfortunately, many CEOs don’t consider this until it’s too late and their reputation has come under fire.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We recommend ALL executives stay ahead of the game with these six tips to protect their reputation from future threats:
Open a new incognito window in your web browser and Google your name or company in a way that a prospective client may be checking to see if there is anything negative on the web. For example: Type in “Company XYZ Lawsuits” or even simply just “[Your Name]" – you may be surprised of all the false information that prospective clients see but never tell you about. Spend some time, and get an understanding for what is online.
Competitors, adversaries, and those with an axe to grind may target you now or in the future. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your digital portfolio just as you would with your investment portfolio.
Make a plan to keep your digital portfolio healthy and strong. Write down ALL the sites you found that mention you and categorize that content into the following grid:
Try to add or clear up any remark on an online site that is inaccurate. Not all information can be changed or removed but you may be able to clarify a comment. Always check with a communications expert to ensure that any public comment is done in a way that could not be interpreted in the wrong way.
If you find an online space where your competitors show up in simple online searches, add your information there. The more content you have the stronger the brand and the more “resilient” your brand is to withstand some negative news.
Create, update, and claim your key personal or company profiles such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. There are hundreds of profiles you could optimize, but these are the very least that should be updated regularly so they show up early in Google searches ahead of bad content or a crisis you may have in the future. The more content you create that you “own” the better off you are to build your brand and protect your reputation.