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Reputation Management Lessons to be Learned from Tiger Woods' Mistakes

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It can take years to build a brand, but minutes to destroy it. Brand spokespeople can be a brand’s own worst enemy by inadvertently inflicting wounds that could lead to the brand’s untimely demise. Luckily, the American public is quite forgiving. You just have to go about it the right way. This requires some reputation management expertise that, unfortunately, Tiger Woods doesn’t seem to have.

The first lesson in reputation management is to shift the public’s anger and resentment (or even hate in some cases) to the actual misconduct itself and away from the person/business that did the misconduct. This is because public sentiment depends on how you respond to rumors of misconduct rather than on the misconduct itself.

The second lesson in reputation management is to plan for crisis management. If you have both an operational and a communications response, you will hopefully maintain confidence in your brand among key stakeholders such as customers, employees, investors, and suppliers.

The third lesson in reputation management is to start early. Tiger waited way too long to comment on the media rumors about his indiscretions and the rumors blew way out of proportion. No comment or too little comment from you gives others permission to comment on your behalf, leaving more room for rumor and speculation. Commenting early will put you in control of the story.

And the final lesson in reputation management that is to be learned from Tiger Woods’ is to make sure there are no information leaks. You need to make sure your public relations teams or departments aren’t speaking with any outsiders or media. Word travels fast, so confidentiality is key.

Reputation management is a tough job because you need to keep in mind how people react to certain things. You need to understand human behavior at a sociological and psychological level. These few lessons will help you stay ahead of your game, but it’s probably in your best interest to hire an online agency that does reputation management. An online agency will not only have the know-how, but also the connections to properly perform some crisis management. And while they’re doing that, you can continue to focus on your business.

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