You are your most important “Client”, Part IV: Personal Brand Damage Control

Happy Sunday! Hopefully by the time you read this you haven’t slept the day away and you are enjoying those last few hours of sweet freedom (AKA the weekend). As you may or may not remember, a few MONTHS ago I started a special series on personal brand management: defining your personal brand (here), promoting your personal brand (here) and maintaining your personal brand (here). So now you know how to get your brand started, let people know about it and keep it updated…but what happens when you have a slip up? Accidentally posted an inappropriate picture? Published a damaging tweet or Facebook post? Or did you just do something embarrassing that could damage your brand? Well this post is for you.

So…you’ve done or said something silly, what should you do next? I’ve gathered some tips and idea from experts around the web to share with you. Hopefully, you will never have to use these tips, but in case you do, here they are:

  1. Don’t hide from it, damage control is fight, not flight. While it’s easier to go all Ostrich and duck your head in the sand, what’s easy isn’t always best. First, let’s acknowledge what we’ve done and get out in front of it. Do you need to publicly apologize? Then suck up that pride and do it, intelligently. Take a good 30 minutes to scream, cry, call your mom, bang your head against the wall, whatever…then make a thoughtful response addressing the situation.
  2. Stay transparent. How suspicious does it look when government organizations or corporations refuse to be open about a public situation? Well, the same premise goes for you. Whatever you’re doing to fix the situation, keep people updated and make sure people know you are working to fix this, whatever it is.
  3. Go about business as usual. This is a controversial tip because it’s normal for businesses to go into “crisis mode” but I think for personal brands, it’s best to keep up your regular routine. Make sure you are still out there cultivating relationships, updating social networks and getting your tasks done. Now is not the time to withdraw into your panic room with Ben & Jerry’s, put on your best smile and get down to business
  4. Show results. In my time on this earth I’ve learned that the best revenge is doing well, and the best way to show people that you’re brand is still a good one is to perform at 150%. Do your work faster and more accurately, have your papers and assignments in a few days early, keep your success up and show the world your best face. What can anybody say about you when you’re putting out such good product?
  5. Keep a brave face, this too shall pass. I’ve had my reputation questioned in the past and let me tell you, it was NOT fun and I felt like it would last forever. Let me let you in on a little secret: it didn’t! In fact, once I decided to get back to my normal self and my best self, it all blew over. I just kept my poker face on and eventually, everything was alright.

That’s all I have for today; I know it may seem like the end of the world when your brand is damaged or your reputation hits a snag but you can move past this. Just keep your chin up, stay focused and be your best you and everything will work out just well. I’ve included some links below for further reading and I hope you’ll find them helpful.

XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing

Helpful Links:
Your Online Reputation Damage Control Checklist
Reputation Damage Control
Personal Damage Control


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