A PR Girl’s Guide to Protecting Your Reputation


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In the world of PR, a publicist’s job title entails many different roles, which probably explains why some people still aren’t sure what it is that we do. One major role is playing the “hero.” It is our responsibility to make sure we always represent our client in the most positive light, enforcing why others should want to feature or work with them as well as purchase their products. When a client has a problem, we step in, put out the fire and dodge any other obstacles that may stand in our way. When a client is faced with an unfortunate circumstance or an unexpected negative is revealed, we need to come to the rescue, switch into “crisis management” mode and help maintain and save our client’s reputation in order to get them back into that positive light.

What about you and your business? Who’s your hero? With the Internet and social media having such a prominent presence in how we do business, your online reputation is your business card that you present to the world. In fact, it takes just seven seconds for a person to form an opinion of someone, and 93% of that comes from your image. The reality is if someone wants to know about you, all they have to do is check Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. Therefore we need to be conscious as to what is out there in cyberspace for the world to see. Unfortunately, what you may discover is not always pretty and we often have to go into crisis management mode for ourselves.

With the Internet and social media having such a prominent presence in how we do business, your online reputation is your business card that you present to the world.

Not everything you read online is true.

The Internet is often a great source and an amazing tool for us when it comes to doing our job, but on the flip side no one is really monitoring what gets posted online. Former employers or employees, disgruntled clients and even competition can take to an Internet forum and say whatever they want about you or your company whether it’s true or not. It could be a review, a blog or a site that caters to this type of activity, but once it’s out there, there’s not much you can do to get it down.

From personal experience with a former employer who took to the Internet in an attempt to cyber bully me, cripple my new business and smear my name, I’ve unfortunately learned a thing or two on what you can do to be on alert if this happens to you. Here are a few cautionary steps you can take to make ensure you’re making a good impression to potential clients.

 Precautionary steps

  • Google Alerts – set up alerts to let you know if anything has been posted online that includes your name or your company’s name.
  • Google Yourself – no it’s not being vane, every once in a while take a moment to check out what others are seeing when they research you.
  • Resolve – always try your best to settle any type of animosity or problems with clients, ex employees or employers.
  • Think Before you Click – if you don’t want the world to see or know everything about you, don’t put it online period.

When you need to go into Crisis Management for yourself

  • Acknowledge – if there’s absolutely nothing you can do about the negativity posted online, then be aware that it may raise questions from people who stumble upon it. Do your best to explain the situation without too much detail and counteract the negative with a positive; like a link to your online portfolio with all of the press you have garnered for your clients.
  • Comment or Reply – respond to the posting in a cool and collected manner trying to resolve the problem and not bash the initial party.
  • White Hats – reach out to clients who are happy, editors who you’ve worked with and anyone else business related that will write a referral singing your praises.
  • Testimonials – post these positive comments anywhere you can, put them on your website and include them in your email signature where people can easily access the link.

What else would you add? How have you handled a situation like this?

About Jana Glowatz:

Jana is the CEO and Founder of JANA Public Relations based in Miami, Fl. Jana has an established history within the industry and is a veteran when it comes to working with celebrities, stylists, editors and events. Prior to owning her agency, she held the title of fashion & accessories director at New York and Miami PR firms.


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