Your reputation is all about how others perceive you. Whether it’s in a positive or negative way, this perception cast down on you can impact your personal and professional relationships. If you want to shine a positive light on yourself and your business, you need to figure out how to best manage your image.
Giant corporations have the time, money and resources to build and protect their image, but that doesn’t mean smaller companies don’t need to exercise caution, as well. Whether you have a global team of thousands or work solo, be sure to project an image you would not only be proud of, but that your clients and customers would be of too. Remember, they are your top priority, and without them, you have no business. Pick a vision and make it a part of your firm’s culture.
Dabble in debates
The news cycle is 24/7, and how you react to current events can impact your client roster. You want to appeal to the masses, but don’t want to betray who you are. Feel free to comment and express your opinions, but to do so in a tasteful way, and in the appropriate settings. Make sure you express that your views do not necessarily reflect that of your company. Opposing views will bring backlash, so be ready for a debate. This is healthy, and good for sparking dialogue and developing open-mindedness. Remember however, don’t let it get to the point of name calling, verbal abuse and aggression.
Whoever said nothing lasts forever said so before the days of social media. Be careful what you say, or post, as once it’s up there, it’s up for good. Social media posts can go viral in a matter of seconds, and a screenshot can outlive a post that has been deleted. Stay within rules that your industry or association allows. You’d be surprised at what you can and cannot do.
Be “in the know”
Before you make a purchase, you do some research, right? You look up previous reviews, competing services and products and make an informed decision based on your findings. The same should apply to everything you do in life. Take Megyn Kelly’s recent comments on black face. A few seconds of on-air talk has cost her job. Had she taken a moment to before she responded, she might have saved herself from the backlash.
Before you comment on the trend or current event, find out more about how it came to be before you offend your stakeholders or clients. Don’t appear uninformed on important issues.
It isn’t always about the money. Sometimes morals weigh heavy and you have to pass on business to someone else. In 2014, CVS changed its name to CVS Health along with the decision to stop selling cigarettes. It was a bold move with strong financial implications, but it showed that CVS considers the customers’ health a top priority.
Accountability is a must. Think about what happens when big corporations suffer a security breach. How will they handle it? Will they take responsibility? Will they notify customers, and if so will it be in a timely manner? Although thieves committed the crime, customers put their trust in the company and hold it accountable. Hopefully, this need to own up won’t happen often, but if it does, take responsibility for what you say and do.
As a professional, stop, think and take a second to weigh the pros and cons before you act. Be positive, be professional, be prudent. You can save yourself, your company, and your career from taking a hit.