Peter Yarrow’s Reputation

I know this may be a stretch to write about in this blog, but what can it hurt if I interject a little of my “personal” life experiences from time to time?  If that diminishes the number of followers I get, then so be it.  Last night we saw Peter Yarrow of “Peter, Paul and Mary” fame and really had an emotional uplifting experience.  Who would have thought that a 75 year old man could still connect with an audience like that?  Heck, maybe it’s me that doesn’t realize that after reaching 75 (three weeks ago) and entertaining since the mid sixties, you should be better than an Adele or Michael Buble’.

I had forgotten that he was such a pacifist and how much he is still involved with preventing violence. He spoke of Sandy Hook with a connection that was very personal.  He also shared with us his feelings about bullying and the fabric of our country. Whether you were in tune with his politics or not, you must admire his conviction and verve when speaking so passionately about love and nonviolence.  Well, I got swept up in his positions and when he brought up a bunch of young children to sing “Puff” with him, it was all I could do not to cry.

Peter Yarrow's ReputationAt intermission we went down to the lobby where some folks were peddling his books and CDs and Peter signed a “popup book” for our four year old granddaughter’s birthday just two days ago.  Just great fun as he not only signed it for us but he actually paged through the whole book and sang Puff The Magic Dragon to us as we marveled at the book being a piece of art in the hands of such a lovely artist.

Okay, so now where can I go from here to justify adding this entry into my blog?  I have an idea.  I am going to search Peter Yarrow in Google to find all the garbage out there that may have damaged his reputation and then write my comments on his missteps. (Back in an hour)

I found this on the first page:

A Message from Peter Yarrow
& Operation Respect
to the Community of Newtown, CT

Weave, weave, weave me the sunshine,
Out of the falling rain.
Weave me the hope of a new tomorrow,
And fill my cup again.

We at Operation Respect are in a state of grief and shock over the horrifying killings of children, their teachers and their principal in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. At Operation Respect, our whole lives are bound up in efforts to prevent violence, ridicule, humiliation and bullying in schools throughout the United States, and beyond.

We are holding the families and friends of the children who were lost in Newton, CT, in fact the whole of Newtown, CT, especially deep in our hearts and prayers and we have committed ourselves to joining with others to help heal the wounds that have been visited on those close to the children whose lives were lost and to prevent the occurrence of such heartbreaking tragedies in the future.

And yes, I did find something back in his past.  Forty-three years ago he made a mistake, took responsibility and moved on with his life.  He never lied about it nor did he make excuses. I even found an interviewer who actually brought it up in 2006. Thirty six years later, some guy was trying to create a story asking a man about his past.  It’s a good lesson for us all. How about maybe being a little more tolerant of each other before we decide to make a judgment based on an event.  Why wouldn’t we look at a man’s life’s work, and judge him that way?  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could make a mistake, take responsibility and move on?  Let’s give that a shot.  None of us is getting out of here with our reputations intact.  We have all harmed someone.  There are people everywhere all too anxious to point out our frailties as it probably makes them feel better about themselves.

As I grow older I find that reputations are transient.  Reputations are minute to minute, but integrity can last. Integrity is how you conduct yourself as a person and your reputation is its by-product. Peter Yarrow’s reputation is not only intact, but a lovely tribute to his life’s work and it’s one we should all emulate.

Reputation Management Consultants

Reputation Management ConsultantsDon’t you love that term?  What does it mean?  Who do you think are the most important reputation management consultants in your life?  Go ahead.  Spit it out.  That’s right; it’s you and your employees! Now when guys like me talk about that vague term, we’re usually trying to scare you into buying something or hiring us to manage your online reputation.  Sure, we can help and some of us do some pretty productive work for our clients, but in the long run, you’re your best consultant.

When you begin searching the internet for; reputation management consultants, you usually already have a problem or know it’s comin’.  You’ve already searched for negative search results and found some nasty remarks or rude reviews about you or your service and I can tell you from experience that there are only three people who will go more than a couple pages deep to look for your results; a reporter, your competitor and you. Once we have pushed the adverse press off the first page for our clients, they invariably will start calling and telling me that they found some remote never searched term has shown up on page 3 and they want to know what we’re going to do about that one.  If anyone searches past the first two pages, they already know what they are looking for and they’re going to do their damndest to hurt you anyway.

Who wakes up and says to themselves: “Boy, I think I’m going to run out and buy a timeshare today”?  The same amount of people are likely to get up and look for someone to manage their reputation unless they know what has already hit the fan.  Now the interesting thing about our profession is that most of us are or were in the SEO or Marketing field. We use our skills to reverse what we have been doing for years.  We work to create websites and content and then optimize them to occupy the space that is damaging your reputation at the moment.  The bad thing about it is that in most cases, it’s an ongoing endeavor because when we stop working, the negative posts usually rear their ugly heads again and again.

That’s the reason that I wrote this blog post: To try to help you avoid the need for someone like me.  Be your own consultant.  it’s a heck of a lot cheaper when you do it than if I do it. If you really want to avoid reputation management consultants, then start conducting yourself online especially as well as you can.  Try not to over react to a customer or a competitor.  Have meetings with your employees and explain to them that your success is tied to the customers’ reaction to their service and if they fail, the business can fail and their jobs disappear.  I know I’m asking alot, but unfortunately we see it every week.  We have clients who come to us on the verge of bankruptcy because they just figured out what has been happening to them and in some cases, it’s too late.

We have a client right now that we suggested they buy another company or merge with another firm because the damage was so great.  In other words, change your name/brand.  Let’s stop by saying:  You are management.  It’s your company.  Be aware of the damage that can come from one misstep and save yourself from having to call consultants like me!

Reputation Marketing Strategy

Reputation Marketing StrategyReputation marketing strategy is often referred to as business reputation marketing or online reputation marketing.  I’ve read several articles ranging from: you can protect yourself from negative reviews; which is virtually impossible to don’t waste your time which is also not the best approach either. As I’ve written before, I believe you can mitigate the damage by being proactive when monitoring your brand online, but also by how you deal with brand management.

Maybe the most important thing you can do is to not only be aware of the evil that lurks out there for your business reputation, but preaching to your staff that every customer is just one bad experience away from damaging you by writing a negative review that influences the next customer loss.  In other words, being aware may be the best thing you can do because it can actually change the culture within your company and the posture you take when dealing with every customer and staff.  If you set an example by never commiserating with staff about an impolite customer, you reinforce the value of a customer.

We had a client that lost 85% of his business over his social media reputation which was totally destroyed by his competitors when he didn’t take control of the negative event as it happened.  He then jumped up and justified it and the crucifixion began and hasn’t ended to this day. We are all one event away from total destruction and the vast majority of these online brand calamities can be avoided by taking an active role in protecting your business online.