When a potential client reaches out to us for help repairing a damaged reputation, there is one important factor that we always have to measure in order to determine if we can truly help them:
Have they demonstrated a contrite effort to change their character to better reflect the desired reputation?
Whether that’s a change in management, a change in production quality, or a change in the opinions that were expressed personally, without a sincere effort to improve their character any online reputation management campaign is a waste of time. More so, we don’t take on their project as we feel we would just be helping them to sweep the issue under the rug.
There are many reasons for this but, even if you set aside the fact that we would be attempting some kind of cover-up, the truth is, even if successful, they will likely face another reputation crisis down the road as the underlying character has not changed. And, as Abraham Lincoln once said:
“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
If you cannot, or will not, change the character of your personal identity or company, then you must accept that this now becomes your new reputation. Perhaps you feel strongly that your character is good and justified. That may be true, but a reputation attack means you were not transparent in building a reputation that matched it.