“Don’t Say Nothin’ Bad (About My Baby)” was a teenage-angst filled song from 1963. It was written by the great rock and roll song writing duo of Gerry Goffin and Carole King and performed by the girl group, The Cookies. In the song a young girl and is singing about her hard-working man. An old girl friend has thrown some shade on the young man and the new girl friend sends out a warning “So girl you better shut your mouth!”
Basically, the song is a form of “reputation management,” which is an old PR (public relations) and marketing term. Reputation Management concerns brand names. A brand name is all about sharing good news and good comments about a person, a company, or a product. If someone says something bad about the brand name it must be defended. In Othello by Shakespeare, the bad guy, Iago, has begun to plant the poisonous seed of suspicion in Othello’s mind: “Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, Is the immediate jewel of their souls: Who steals my purse steals trash . . . But he that filches from me my good name, takes that which enriches him not, and makes me poor indeed.”
If you are in business, then of course you have a website, which is the starting point for reputation management. Businesses and non-profit agencies should all have a media page or at least a testimonial page on their website. If someone writes an article about you, then you would publish the article on your media page, or a link to the entire article. If someone writes an article and praises you or your business, then you should print the paragraph that mentions you. If you have good or great reviews on Yelp, Google, or any other online source of quotations (like Facebook or LinkedIn), then you should re-post them on your website. Good news, you share with the world.
If you have bad news and bad reviews, then you need to counter it with good reviews. I reviewed a restaurant once and thought the food only mediocre. Online reviews, however were astounding. I thought to myself, “How can this be? Was I wrong in my opinion?” I returned to the restaurant . . . my first opinion was upheld. I went back and looked at the reviews. I saw names I recognized. They were members of a large business group. The restaurant was a member of the same group. Friends just helping friends. Rule #1 – Always re-post a good review, even if you don’t deserve it.
Reputation management is harder in small towns, where most people know everyone. In cities like Lakewood and Tacoma, there are more avenues to spread information to counter bad reviews, and share good reviews and news. For more information on Reputation Management you can download a free ebook on the subject with six articles by different authors. – publicdoman.com/Reputation-Management.html.
“Character is like a tree and reputation a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln