Olivia Pope is a crisis manager running the consulting firm Olivia Pope & Associates, in the hit TV show Scandal. She is dedicated to fixing problems and crises; protecting and guarding public images and reputations; and solving certain crimes in her clients’ interest. When something embarrassing is potentially exposed, she does what needs to be done to cover it up or spin and change the story to something more positive and flattering.
Online reputation management might not be as exciting or dramatic, but it’s very much the same type of thing. Nothing is ever forgotten online, there is information about you and your business out there that you’d rather not be known by the general public, but it shows up on search engines and you need to bury it.
Don’t worry; you don’t have to be as diabolical or underhanded as Olivia Pope’s “family” to bury negative information online, there are ways to manage your online reputation ethically. There are also some things you should just do, if you want to run a successful business nowadays. Let’s discuss the various different types of information that can be found online about you, they you might want to have buried.
Images You or Somebody Else Posted
We’ve all done it, got drunk, done something embarrassing and something we have later regretted. Today however the chances are you or somebody else might have captured it on their smartphone and shared it. If you have posted the image you can remove it, if someone else posted it online you can request that the person who posted it delete it, or you can ask the website owner to remove it. If however someone has downloaded it and saved it, you’re out of luck, you can email them if you know they have it asking that they delete it. It’s also a good idea to ask friends and family members not to post any images of you in the future of a sensitive or embarrassing nature.
Comments You Made When Annoyed
Anyone in business has experienced a customer, supplier or prospect saying something in a less then flattering way and then they have reacted and said something they have later regretted. The exact same things happens online every day, someone will post a bad review online and the business owner will react, often turning a bad review into something much worse. If you have the ability to delete the comment, delete it as soon as you can. If you cannot delete it, then you need to apologize for the comment that you made. It’s also often beneficial to leave your comment alone as deleting it can also inflame the situation even more, and a simple apology works, as people will see that you are sorry. And as with all things of this nature, even if you do delete it, chances are somebody somewhere has a screen shot of it, I know I’ve some choice ones around here.
Erroneous Information Posted by a Competitor
Competitors tell lies, it happens and they may even slander you and dependent upon what they do, you’ll need to choose the most appropriate course of action. In most cases things blow over if you ignore it and don’t rise to the bait. In others circumstances, especially when it comes to online slander and bullying, you’re going to need to take legal action. That might at first blow up the situation though, so you need to be sure the law is really on your side before acting and that means seeking legal advice before you react.
You May Need Your Own Olivia Pope
Just remember you don’t need to hire someone who is adept at torture and slashing people’s throats, but in the most serious cases you may need to hire a company that specializes in online reputation management so that they can take control of managing your reputation online. Such a company will help you figure out how you can remove things from the internet and how you can burry information fast, whilst also often turning negativity into a positive.
Online reputation management can not only be used to manage negative aspects of the internet, but it can also help boost the positive aspects of it. Keeping your reputation intact is really only part of the issue. It’s also important to use the internet to its fullest potential for your business needs, by practicing online reputation management can help you achieve this.