Posted January 4, 2011 2:00 pm by with 5 comments

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Over at Forbes, I’ve been moonlighting as someone that writes well enough to, well, write for Forbes. 😉

I’m pretty “chuffed” with my latest article which shuns the trend of making 2011 predictions and instead focuses on the unwritten laws of reputation management in 2011.

Here are the first three to whet your appetite…

Law #1 – Everyone has an online reputation

We all have an online reputation to maintain. Don’t believe me, go ahead and “Google Yourself”–I promise you won’t go blind! Even if you don’t find anything written about you, then that’s still your reputation–or lack thereof. In 2011, you should make sure that what’s found in Google, Facebook, Twitter et al is something you’d be equally comfortable showing your mom or your boss!

Law #2 – Your reputation is an extension of your character

It doesn’t matter how hard you work on managing your reputation, it will only ever be as solid as your actual character. Tiger Woods had a reputation of being the greatest golfer–and a family man. His character revealed otherwise. As Abraham Lincoln once said,

“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

Law #3 – Every reputation has an achilles heel

While Toyota may have spent years telling us that its cars are the most reliable in the world, sticking gas pedals told a different story. In fact, even though Toyota tried to deny the increasing incidents of sticking accelerators, its customers were the ones steering the car manufacturer’s reputation in another direction. Instead of denying the issue, Toyota should have been the first to recognize it! When you recognize and acknowledge your weaknesses, before your customers, you have the opportunity to craft a response before the public outcry. Do you know your reputation’s weakness?

You can continue reading The 11 Unwritten Laws of Reputation Management.

  • I personally like the #11 the most: Law #7 – If you don’t build it, they will
    So true!

  • As usual a quality article!
    Well done

  • That’s very nice Andy. Awesome laws hmmm must say. Good work 🙂

  • @Andy…

    I realize that you just “play” at being an online writer — and very well IMHO btw — but your article above is truly a great leadin to the full piece over at Forbes…took the click/thru and very much enjoyed the piece!

    That said, re: Toyota? I would’a sworn – bet even – that they’d have stepped up to the plate with “mea culpa’s” to get ahead of the negative online rep….but they didn’t. Been surprised before by how some firms who SHOULD have done that — didn’t….and I just don’t know why….sad reallly…spoiled my whole “take” on that firm, eh!



    • Thanks Jim!

      You’d think companies would learn from athletes that take steroids. They too believe they’ll never get caught, but most do. 😉