We’ve already seen an increase in news related to online reputation management in the last few days, and now Wired magazine lists it as one of the top trends for 2007.
Their excellent article “The See-Through CEO” looks at how businesses are becoming more transparent with their communications and how consumers are wielding a lot of influence over your online brand equity.
“Online is where reputations are made now,” says Leslie Gaines Ross, chief reputation strategist – yes, that’s her actual title – with the PR firm Weber Shandwick. She regularly speaks to companies that realize a single Google search determines more about how they’re perceived than a multimillion-dollar ad campaign. “It used to be that you’d look only at your reputation in newspapers and broadcast media, positive and negative. But now the blogosphere is equally powerful, and it has different rules. Public relations used to be about having stuff taken down, and you can’t do that with the Internet.”
And Google is unwittingly doing it’s part to increase the awareness of a clean online reputation…
…an interesting aspect of the Internet age: 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 more transparent: Online, your rep is quantifiable, findable, and totally unavoidable. In other words, radical transparency is a double-edged sword, but once you know the new rules, you can use it to control your image in ways you never could before.