HR pays attention to your online reputation But we knew this already. HR departments now have a standard practice to check your reputation out on Google before hiring. Type of online reputation information that influenced decision to reject the candidate: I personally think numbers below are way lower than they actually are. Unless there is […]Read more »
Because reputation is everything, let’s look at some of the disasters that recently struck individuals and companies. These stories would be laughable if they weren’t so deadly in train-wrecking the individual or company. These things can result from a mistake, from poor handling of a problem, or … they can happen through no fault of your own, sudden, unexpected, as if from nowhere … blam!
Dentist Has To Pay Legal Fees For Suing Yelp & Reviewer Over Bad Review Source: TechDirt.com Date: May 25, 2011 By: Mike Masnick Link: Online Story Dentist Has To Pay Legal Fees For Suing Yelp & Reviewer Over Bad Review from the anti-slapp-and-section-230 dept We’ve had a number of posts lately about lawsuits over bad […]Read more »
Court Says Complaining About Doctor’s Bedside Manner Is Not Defamation Source: TechDirt.com Date: May 10, 2011 By: Mike Masnick Link: Online Story Court Says Complaining About Doctor’s Bedside Manner Is Not Defamation from the good-ruling dept We keep hearing stories about doctors suing patients for bad reviews. However, there’s some good news, in that a […]Read more »
Twist a Pen, Open a Lock Source: Wired.com Date: September 17, 2004 By: Leander Kahney Link: Online Story Twist a Pen, Open a Lock After cutting four small slits in the end of the pen’s barrel to ease it in, the lock opened with a single twist. A 50-year-old lock design was rendered useless last […]Read more »
Doctor Sues Patients Over Bad Yelp Reviews Source: TechDirt.com Date: Nov 18, 2010 By: Mike Masnick Link: Online Story Doctor Sues Patients Over Bad Yelp Reviews from the that’s-not-going-to-help dept We’ve seen all sorts of business owners get upset about Yelp, but it seems to be ratcheting up a notch. For example, take Denver chef, […]Read more »
Plastic Surgeon Sues Online Reviewers Who Gave Her Bad Reviews Source: TechDirt.com Date: July 14, 2010 By: Mike Masnick Link: Online Story Plastic Surgeon Sues Online Reviewers Who Gave Her Bad Reviews from the slapp-anyone-lately? dept Alan Bleiweiss points us to the news of a plastic surgeon, Kimberly Henry, in Marin, California, who is not […]Read more »
Greenbrae plastic surgeon sues online critics Source: Marinij.com Date: July 5, 2010 By: Gary Klien Link: Online Story Greenbrae plastic surgeon sues online critics A cosmetic surgeon in Greenbrae has filed a lawsuit to stop critics from badmouthing her on the Internet. Dr. Kimberly Henry is seeking injunctions against at least 12 online reviewers, only […]Read more »
POST DATE: Feb 9, 2011
New York Rep. Chris Lee resigns from the House
Me Tarzan, You Jane … Oops, Kicked Out of Congress.
Rep. Chris Lee resigned from the House effective immediately, an announcement that came just hours after a Web site reported that the married congressman had sent a shirtless image of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist.
Representative Christopher Lee of New York did something foolish one day.
Although married, he started a “personals” conversation on Craigslist, and then it must have got more and more exciting, for he popped into the bathroom and before the big mirror there, pulled off his shirt and snapped a candid photo with muscles flexed, looking (somewhat) like Tarzan in dress slacks (with a cellphone camera).
She Got Wise
Oopsy. His 34-year old craigslist girlfriend caught on, looked him up, discovered he was married, had a kid, was a different age, and had a different job — ie: that he’d lied like a dog — and that ticked her off.
She turned it over to the media, and next thing you know the gossip website Gawker posted the story, with the e-mails she’d provided. Oopsy!
Representative Tarzan- Oh, I mean, Representative Lee immediately was in big trouble with his wife and with his voters in the state of New York. The result?
Adios to Congress
Lee’s statement the day following — “I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents. I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness,” Lee said, as he resigned from his seat in Congress.
Oh, well, these things happen.
And then they stay … forever.
Stories like this used to fade from memory, but now if you Google “Christopher Lee” this terrible story appears in the top ten results.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Everyone makes a stupid mistake sometime, and everyone deserves a second chance. Reputation management, done correctly, can give us that chance.
POST DATE: July 24, 2009
Oh Dear, Oh Dear. United Airlines Breaks Guitars.
In 2008, Canadian musician David Carrol and his band were traveling on United Airlines to an engagement in Omaha Nebraska, and as they sat in the just-landed airplane on the tarmac of Chicago’s O’Hare airport, they heard a woman nearby exclaim, “They’re throwing guitars!”
Peeking out the porthole windows, they saw baggage handlers tossing the guitars out of the luggage bin.
Sure enough, when he later opened his guitar case, his $3,500 Taylor guitar had a broken neck.
Carrol attempted to communicate with airline employees. They must have not been musicians, for they didn’t seem very interested in this problem, according to Carrol. In short, United stonewalled Carrol.
All Together Now
So, being a musician, he made a song out of it, called ‘United Breaks Guitars,’ and posted it on YouTube.
A Right-Popular Video
The video was posted on July 6, and gained 150,000 views within one day, hit over a half million hits within the next three days, then five million by mid-august 2009, and 10+ million by February 2011.
Carrol got a call from United Airlines within those first few days. Suddenly they wanted to right the wrong. All palsy-walsy.
Apparently they have satisfied Carrol since that time, but still …
Ten million viewers who now know that … United breaks Guitars.
Not so good.
United stock fell by 10% because of it, amounting to a loss of $180 million according to the Daily Mail.
At first, when this story broke, if you Googled on United Airlines, this video popped up immediately in the top search engine results. But now I guess United cares about it’s online reputation, and has implemented proper reputation management actions, the same kinds of steps that we offer, and that you’ll want to consider, to protect yourself.
POST DATE: September, 17, 2004
Twist a Pen, Open a Lock
The Pen is Mightier than the … Lock?
Bike riders alert! Your ride is in danger … from a bic pen!
Ever since the 70’s, riding bicycles has grown up and become something for health-conscious adults. It’s not just for kids anymore. And naturally, the price of bicycles skyrocketed, when an affluent 30-something executive is ready to pop a couple of grand for titanium and shiny, shiny chrome. Oooh!
Plus, bicycling actually works for providing healthy exercise, in a fun way. It was fun when we were kids, and it’s fun as grownups, too. In many cities around the world — Paris, Amsterdam, London — bicycles have been a mainstay of transportation. Only in America did we seemingly forget about bikes as the automobile caught our attention, as automobiles became so covered with shiny, shiny chrome. Oooh!
And naturally, as bikes became more expensive and more popular, entire industries of bicycle add-ons developed, and one of the best and biggest is the specialized bicycle lock.
The most reputable of these is a U-Shaped lock manufactured under the name Kryptonite. (It’s so powerful, even Superman is rendered powerless to steal your bike!)
Enter the Bic Pen
But in September 2004, a San Francisco network security consultant and avid biker named Chris Brennan demonstrated how to open a $70 Kryptonite bike lock using a cheap plastic ballpoint pen.
Video has been taken down since, but you’ll get my point on this
The story went viral, and soon the popular Wired site publicly tested Brennan’s method. And a brand new Evolution 2000 model U-Lock popped open in three seconds using nothing more than a Bic pen.
(The secret is that you cut a few small slits in the end of the empty pen barrel to ease it in. The plastic material is just tough enough to turn the lock when needed, but soft enough that it simply conforms to the shape of the lock’s “wards” inside. This design of cylindrical lock has been in widespread use for over 50 years, and not just in bicycle locks.)
The 25-year old Brennan had warned “Your brand new U-Lock is not safe,” on a Bike Forum posting, and this one posting soon blanketed the biking community.
1) They redesigned the lock.
2) They issued a public statement about new and improved, and offered to sell upgrades.
Well, isn’t that just the cutest thing?
This could have been handles so much smarter. And we can learn from their mistakes. Ignoring bad publicity, sticking your head in the sand … it doesn’t work. The bad publicity can just snowball. But with the right steps, this kind of fiasco can be averted.
Easiest if you work ahead of time, but even when disaster strikes out of the blue, with prompt action, even an avalanche of bad news online can be handled, and repaired. With *prompt* action.