Cancel culture has become part of our daily conversation, but most professionals and business owners do not realize that it is not just something that applies to celebrities. That is, until it's too late. With the ease of spreading anonymous misinformation online, and little legal recourse, thousands of people wake up every year to their personal and business names being destroyed on the internet and quickly find there is very little law enforcement, lawyers and the justice system can do for them.
It can be as small as a bad Yelp review or negative Reddit thread, or as large as a full scale fake news campaign targeting an individual or business. But one thing is for sure, there are many people that experience the trauma and hopelessness of being targeted by bad news and negative reviews. Whether the negative content is based in fact or completely untrue, situations like these can destroy their business, and even their personal lives. When the search engines and legal system refuse to help, who can they turn to?
Here we present three authorities in the public relations and reputation management space from all across the United States. Combined, they have helped thousands of people around the world fight back against invisible enemies online and in the media. Because reputation management problems can often be local, these reputation defenders were selected for being the best in their regions. As well as learning more about their respective backgrounds, each one of these experts also shares their top advice for preventing, or dealing with, a reputation management problem.
Vito Glazers: Glazers Media, Hollywood
Vito Glazers is the CEO of Glazers Media and often featured in the media as a top authority on cancel culture, reputation management, and reputation defense. He was published in Yahoo News as one of the Top PR Executives alongside Howard Rubenstein and Richard Edelman.
His advice? "Tell your story before your haters and competitors tell their version of it for you. If you are dealing with the public, it is not a matter of if, but when, will there be a reputation management problem. A lot can be done to establish and protect your name before you have any issues. When it comes to reputation management, the best defense is a good offense."
Richart Ruddie: BRANDefenders, Miami
What do many of South Florida's most renowned lawyers, public relations firms, and fixers all have in common? When a reputation management problem comes their way, they all go to a digital entrepreneur and brand management expert named Richart Ruddie and his company BRANDefenders. Ruddie, who is based out of South Florida, also has offices in Provo, Utah, and has positioned himself as the top reputation management expert in South Florida and as one of the most respected around the world. He frequently is invited to speak at conferences and events such as SXSW. Ruddie rose to fame by developing software and processes that identify and resolve PR issues for brands, celebrities, influencers, and the who's who of Florida when it comes to fixing online issues.
His advice? If you're successful or plan to be in the spotlight, it's imperative that you brand yourself online and promote the positive and truthful facets of your business. If you don't, then you are at the mercy of keyboard warriors and critics who are a lot nastier behind a computer screen than they are in real life. His agency always advises clients to be resilient in promoting all their positive press and sculpt the type of search results that you would like to have appear on page one of Google. Also never argue with somebody who buys ink by the barrel. Match and exceed that barrel of ink.
Matt Peters: Search Manipulator, San Francisco
If you have a negative article or review that must be eliminated, Search Manipulator can help. Led by CEO Matt Peters for 13 years, the team at Search Manipulator has special skills to remove unflattering articles and reviews. Everything is done by them on a pay-per-performance basis, so nothing is due unless there is success.
And when removal isn't possible, they can bury negative news by creating and promoting positive press. Rather than putting clients through a cookie-cutter process, Search Manipulator reviews each case individually and makes decisions based on what will serve its customer the most efficiently. With innovative measures and proactive thought processes, they go above and beyond to provide customers with the best resolution possible.
Matt Peters and his team have mastered helping clients promote themselves and their initiatives. His advice is always the same: Use great reviews and accomplishments to create real content that is positive and allows your successes to really shine through. Then, by utilizing a "click team" to promote that positive content, it will shine on page one of Google and Bing, while burying anything negative.
Reputation management can be difficult to understand or see the need for until it is too late. The term reputation management started originally as a public relations term. The term refers to influencing, controlling, enhancing or sometimes even concealing information about an individual or group, especially as it pertains to finding that information online. Since search results have become such an important part of today's culture and world, online reputation management has become more important than ever.
The reality is there are a lot of unethical people on the internet, and the more people an influencer, brand, or even just a regular person reaches, the more likely it is that someone will write something negative about them online, even if it is totally unwarranted. Anybody who is experiencing a reputation management problem or wants to make sure their name or brand are protected from inevitable future reputation management issues should consider speaking with an expert on the subject.