Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why It Might Be a Good Time to Change That Bad Press

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Celebrities, no matter if they're a film actor, reality television star, athlete or radio personality, are constantly in the public eye and subject to media conversation. Unfortunately, it seems the worse their behavior, the bigger the splash, and the longer the discussion continues. This has been true for decades, from the era of paper boys in flat caps to our present ability to instantly stream news on our mobile devices, more papers are sold when the news is negative.

 There is a saying that any publicity is good publicity. You may think this to be true if no one has ever heard of you or your brand, since your brand has no reputation to corrupt in the first place. The public cannot form an opinion of you, negative or positive, so fifteen minutes of fame may seem beneficial. However, it is never advisable to begin your public reputation on the wrong foot because a poor first impression can be long lasting. Eventually, after the turbulence settles, it's the reputation that ends up taking the hit, possibly tarnishing it forever.

If you're struggling with brand management and reputation, then you may want to listen to a few words of advice. First, you need to devise tactics that can battle against negative accusations or comments. A wrong way to handle these situations would be to become defensive and deny any wrongdoing because it comes off as unprofessional and immature. Instead, you should take on PR problems with a productive approach. Focus on what you or your brand has done right or positive goals you have for the future, because doing so will shift the story from any poor behavior to your accomplishments and aspirations.

So, even though it may seem that all press is good press, because getting your name in the papers may peak interest and traffic to websites or blogs, in the long run, it can affect your career, along with all those connected with you. The ripple effect will reach a large pool of individuals and corporations that have taken either a personal or professional interest in you. When met with difficult situations or events that can have a negative impact on your reputation, don't focus on the allegations or other negative accusations. Instead, redirect your focus to past or present accomplishments, positive qualities or future goals. Leave a fresh image of optimism in the mind of the public.

Your Reputation Beyond the School Yard

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Our reputations can change at many different points in our lives. Billy, for example, had a reputation of being a difficult child to birth, his mother bragged about his ability to walk at an early age, and eventually he had the reputation among the daycare staff as having the most terrible temperament of all the toddlers.

On the schoolyard Billy was a bully, verbally teasing the other kids. This was a point where he began to have control over his reputation through the words he spoke and his behavior towards others. A change in neighborhoods meant Billy could begin high school with a clean slate. With no one knowing that he was previously a bully, he could rebuild his reputation. Billy had several more opportunities to repair and manage his reputation, like when he started off college, began his career, and joined new communities, along with the times he gained new experiences, and built social and business contacts.

At other moments in time, we no longer have the ability to start over, to have that clean slate; our reputations follow us, they precede us, in good ways or bad. After Billy had been with his company for five years, he had an inappropriate outburst of anger in a confrontation with a co-worker. The situation resulted in Billy’s termination from the company, and unfortunately, when he applied for positions with other companies, tainted his reputation, all due to his own actions and behavior.

    In the earlier scenarios of Billy’s life, his reputation was beyond control. In the later examples, his reputation was corrupted and tarnished due to his own lack of reputation management. In our day-to-day lives, we often receive new opportunities to begin rebuilding our reputation. However, we don’t have this same luxury in online formats. Content can be published, including pictures, videos, or commentary focused on us that is permanent in many ways. Once it is published online, in many instances, it becomes impossible to remove or undo.

Your reputation is perpetuated by your own actions, those you have control over and those you don’t. Your reputation is also determined by both yourself and others. If you have a desire to succeed in your business or personal life, it is necessary to manage your reputation in all arenas. 

Your Virtual Happy Place

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"Close your eyes and go to your happy place." We've all heard this line so many times it has become cliche.  But, keeping that "happy place" in mind can help you approach web ventures from a different perspective. For you a "happy place" may be a large, open room with pale yellow walls and hardwood floors, fresh flowers and windows looking out over a lake, curtains floating in and out with the breeze, quiet, and restful. Or, maybe you prefer a plush leather chair in the corner of a crowded coffee house, jazz music playing, your legs curled under you, like a cat, nestled in with a newspaper.

In one paragraph I have created two very different and realistic virtual realities. Appealing to all the senses, utilizing color, size, shape, sound, feel, and visual surroundings. Much like these imagined places, your website or social mediapage is a virtual destination for all your viewers. Your first impression online can be captivating, uncomfortable, calming, or boring for your viewer. Depending on how you utilize tools such as website layout and design, photographs uploaded to Facebook, and videos streaming on YouTube, you can create an oasis or desert for the visitor.

In whatever online interests you have, the makeup of your virtual reality will be the difference in your audience's reaction. Aspects such as the options of background color is much like the paint on a wall, the layout of text and pictures are similar to the placement of furniture in your living room. These features are the rooms of your virtual home, and with the correct organizing and effort they can create a very satisfying place for your viewer.

Depending on the size of your virtual “home,” it may be necessary to hire a designer, a company or individual to give your website and your social networks the sprucing and customization that they need. It is a large task and an exhausting undertaking to design all the online content, and to do it effectively is another task altogether.

Without a welcoming and inviting space for your visitors, they will quickly become restless and frustrated at the lack of effort you put forth. A professional can assist you in creating a virtual space that your viewers will enjoy, and consequently a space they will spend more time in, visit often, and tell others about.

Gain Attention Through Twitter

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Twitter can be a great platform to make your voice heard, giving those who wish to be noticed a chance for their popularity to grow. If you're interested in gaining attention for your blog, career or any other reason, then you may want to listen to a few quick tips first. Many use Twitter casually, following celebrities, figures, family and friends just to stay connected with the world and what's going on in the now. And, believe it or not, making an account geared towards expanding your name should retain some of those casual elements if you truly want to gain followers. Just like in the real world, you need to build a network from the ground up, one that gives you more clout and a chance to be noticed by a larger number of people.

A casual Twitter user wants to remain in touch with people they care about, either ones they know personally or celebrities and figures they want to know more about. To be noticed on Twitter, you should first establish a similar platform, following people you know and want to know. Give your Twitter page an identity and character, so that when you do gain more followers, they see that you're invested and not some hollow figure without a purpose. After you maintain a solid base, it's time to think about what you can offer to Twitter that can gain you followers.

To begin establishing your name, you should come up with a goal for using Twitter. Do you want to tweet about a specific topic or do you want to use Twitter simply as a way to speak to the public under your own name? The way people react to your page will be determined by what your Twitter interests are, so make sure you choose something that you truly want to follow through with and can keep consistent. Now that you have your purpose, it's time to branch out and begin building your network.

To gain followers, you need to be active on your Twitter account and tweet regularly. Responding to other's tweets will get you seen by more people and spread your name further. Be a part of conversations in as many different places as possible using creative tweets that can attract people who agree with you or like your personality.

If you still need help gaining followers, check out Centel Media™ social media promotion service.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tumblr, Endless Possibilties

With one hashtag, one word search, hundreds of worlds and realms are displayed instantaneously. Millions of people upload text, quotes, links, photos, videos, chat, and audio to the same site at any given moment, the platform for this particular phenomenon is an online social networking site called Tumblr.

Input a simple word like... “dog” into the search bar on Tumblr’s main page, and you will find the entire spectrum of a dogs existence and the endless possibilities of the expression of that word “dog”: puppies bathing in a shallow pool, German Shepherds, guard dogs photographed in an aggressive documentary style, entire pages dedicated to the sounds dogs make, the spiritual concept of a dog, hot dogs, famous writers’ quotes about dogs. The results exhaust every avenue.

What would display if your corporation's name was entered into Tumblr’s search bar? What if I entered the hashtag of the service you provide, how would your presence in that field be reflected in this online social network? Would you even be present?

Tumblr is not just an informational site, in many ways it is similar to Googling your last name and uncovering public facts such as address or the high school you attended, but, with Tumblr, there is a much more subjective result, pliable, and artistic even.

There are dozens of opportunities to expand public knowledge of your corporation, tools to utilize that will enhance or drastically alter your reputation. If you are not aware of these possibilities or if you are not actively controlling your reputation on the social networks such as Tumblr, you are in essence surrendering that control. If you don’t proactively manage your online reputation, someone may negatively affect it with your knowledge. This may have more influence to your reputation then you could imagine, and in some cases, it may be irreversible.   

Tumblr does have extensive features and tools that may seem overwhelming to learn and navigate; all social networks have their bells and whistles, and each are a resource worth tapping into, buttons worth learning how to press. It is necessary to make your business accessible in every medium possible, to expand the reach of your online reputation through every social network possible. Just as there are dozens of features to learn, there are just as many resources dedicated to teaching those features, they are also online reputationmanagement sites dedicated to the success of your presence in social networks.         

Avoiding Bias on Social Networking Sites

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Bias can present itself in many ways. It can be blatant or subtle, offensive or agreeable.
We may be unaware of our personal bias, perhaps we are attempting simply to express our opinion, but this can greatly affect our business relationships and our online reputation.

When using social networking sites such as Facebook, it may seem appropriate to express our political, religious, or personal opinions; and while this is our right as Americans and as humans, it is important to remember that what we may be expressing is actually a personal bias and not an opinion based on fact. Whatever it is we post to Facebook will certainly not be an opinion shared by all who view our Facebook profiles, comments, status updates, and so forth.

It is impossible to appease every person who views you or your business online. In most cases, it is also impossible to remain neutral on every matter.   Bias may be applied to procedures, products, people, and many other circumstances. For instance, bias may entail the endorsement of a certain product with little concern or consideration of the product’s competition. The bias may be rooted in personal relationships or emotional reaction instead of factual evidence or logical aspects of the product.

As an example, a sales representative of cleaning supplies, while making a pitch, may disregard all comments or complaints that his product does not clean as quickly or effectively as the leading competitor. Instead of confronting the evidence, he simply disregards it and allows his personal bias, the bias of being employed by the company, to determine his actions and behavior.

In this scenario, and in almost every scenario of bias, the salesman is undermining his own credibility, and the credibility and reputation of his company. By not acknowledging the evidence against his product he becomes untrustworthy to those witnessing his blatant bias.
While all scenarios may not be this cut and dry, avoiding bias is an easy matter of developing an objective eye towards the content on your social networking sites.

When communicating on social networking sites, it is most important to simply take into consideration why you hold a certain viewpoint, before posting a seemingly controversial comment, or endorsing a particular product or service; double check, question if bias has any footing. Because, almost every case of bias will result negatively, it will negatively influence the reputation of you or your business, and should be avoided.

Don't Let Your Reputation Go Unmanaged

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I recently traveled to the southern United States. Away from my home for over four weeks, my mail accumulated at home and at work, envelopes filled my mailbox, newspapers overlapped each other in the yard, emails took significant time and data to download. It was overwhelming, like a garden that hadn’t been weeded in years, there was a lot of work to be done. Determining what belonged, what didn’t, what was important, what wasn’t, what needed to be responded to, and what should be ignored.

Beyond the issue of time consumption and minor papers cuts accrued by all that mail, there were more serious consequences; an overdue electric bill, an unanswered wedding invitation, and a non-attended mandatory jury duty. The poor upkeep and ill managed mail resulted in ruining my reputation financially, with the electric company, personally, with the future bride, and legally, with the court system. It took several months to undo the damage acquired in just a few weeks.    

Consequences, large or small, inevitably follow when we let such problems go untreated.
This is also true of our onlinereputations, and the management of such. Without constant upkeep, your onlinereputation can quickly become an unruly garden, a pile of junk mail and overdue bills.
Unfortunately, cleaning up a messy online reputation is not as easy as weeding a garden or throwing envelops in the recycle bin. It can take days or weeks to determine the root of the problem, and that is just the beginning. After determining the problem, the hard work comes in reversing or correcting the reputation which could take months or even years.

Of course, the solution is obvious: be consistent in managing your onlinereputation. But, it may be too late to do simple monitoring and upkeep. You may just be starting, going back through several years of online content to begin the process of reputation repair. If this is the case, you may need professional assistance, your time and energy are valuable, but the dilemmas and necessities of repairing, monitoring, and managing your online reputation cannot go undone. Each day technology is growing, more people are connecting online, your online reputation will only grow from this point forward, you must be proactive in ensuring it grows positively, and not negatively.