What's Your Reputation?

By Jenna Oltersdorf

Quick! What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Lindsay Lohan?  What about Charlie Sheen?  How about Oprah? All pretty different answers, huh?  Why is that?  And why would most of us have the same answers?  It all has to do with reputation and the way  people are portrayed to the public. 

Reputation is one of the most important things you can build as a business, organization or even individual.  And the good news is that we are all in charge of our own reputations and the way we are perceived.  Here are three ideas for building a positive reputation for your organization. 

Community Outreach
I will be the first to admit that there are not enough hours in the day!  (As I’m sure many of you would agree.) But in order to develop a positive reputation in your community, you have to get involved!  Volunteer work is a great way to build connections and demonstrate that your organization goes above and beyond.  Participate in a fundraiser, host a charity 5K run, or organize a food drive.  Not only will you be making a difference, but you will also be connecting with community members on more of a personal level. 

Social Media
Social media is EQUALLY important.  Why?  Because it allows you to reach out to many, many more members of your local – and virtual – communities.  Stay connected by posting interesting updates and ideas from your organization.  Seek customer feedback.  Answer questions!  The more you interact with your audience in a personal, positive and timely manner, the better the reputation you will build for your brand.

Positive messaging/imaging
This is also a very important point I’d like to make.  Make EVERY message you put out there a positive one!  Why?  Let’s think about it for a second.  Have you ever been around someone who is ALWAYS negative or pointing out the bad?  How does that person make you feel?  Do you want to be around them?  I’m guessing the answer is no.  Sure, we all have bad days…mistakes happen…you lose a client or a job.  But in the end, it’s the way you handle yourself that will really influence the public.  Always remember that people are drawn to positivity.

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