While it can take years to develop a reputation of quality and honour within the modern world of super connectivity, it can end in the briefest of moments. The public, connected with powerful information sources such as Twitter and Facebook receives updates near instantly on their collective mobiles long before a news agency can develop a story. In the early stages of a “newsworthy” item, opinions will be made, possibly not based on fact and depending on how deep the situation relates to the mainstream an individuals’ fame and surge or flicker.
Though in many situations, most notably humanitarian concerns, the public will move in near unison yet quite often there is no apparent rhyme or reason. The examples are endless, such as while the public rushed to the aid of Haiti during the earthquake in 2009, a year later it was not as charitable with the events in Japan. The “how and why” is a peculiar mix, further confounded in the winter of 2010 when the public became enamoured with the ramblings of a drug addicted actor, never questioning why such comments were somehow fascinating. That along with a contemporary musical artist, clearly emulating, if not plagiarizing a hit performer of not-so distant past, makes understanding the tipping point of what is “wrong” as opposed to “right” in the public eye a challenge.
Many of these answers are a near impossible to find or at least scan on the surface. Within a glimmer of twenty years the world has shifted into hyper technology growth and the mainstream is only mid stream in understanding how it changes virtually every aspect of business. Where substance and content were once king, cultivating the right image and maintaining it is of absolute importance. One era’s scowl of lip synching in music, sending said artists into oblivion is now accepted with open arms along with audio tune. If true “substance” in the arts is waning, has fostering reputations in business environments suffered the same fate with “the spin” taking over?
Despite this and the countless counter culture reactions by the public, there is equally a broad swing of the axe if you fall astray. That is no more timely example than GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons, who through his action of hunting and killing a elephant in Zimbabwe and then releasing in a video has unleashed a massive negative wave of public sentiment against his company. While animal rights activists and those including this author find his attitude extremely flawed, why is it different from the mutterings of an entertainer, clearly nearly mental collapse and suffering from significant drug dependencies? Why does one cause problem for business while another creates a surge of public interest and demand. With respects to the situation of Bob Parsons, while animal rights advocates scream foul, others spout comparisons to Teddy Roosevelt on the hunt. What side of the equation you stand on, assuming you come into the conversation without significant pre-existing opinion, is how “the spin” effected your judgement.
The answer may simply be in a sliding morality scale where sports stars and entertainers are not subject to the same standards as those in business, though much of that could relate to how much are devoted to “the spin” of the former group and cleaning up tarnished images. This is the slippery slope because while athletes and entertainers find their reputations quickly re-built after scandalous behaviour, the rest of the world is not so fortunate.
As noted by Oleg Ilin in his article “Online Reputation and Personal Brand”, your presence in Social Media outlets effectively introduces you to the world. This daily event, the once casual interactions that were without similar worry pre social media explosion but the future, with glass walls where everything is with glass walls requires an entirely upgraded vision of branding as well as greater social consciousness. Classic business values that seemed to skip a generation are ready to return and those in business today or finalizing academics will need to resurrect adding value to their community with products and services with the sincere issue of bettering its clients. Oddly, the new business world is accelerating and re-finding its value system, where quality and honesty reign supreme.
Echoing the best damn salesman I ever knew, “we are all salesman but to be successful you must believe in adding value to the lives of all around you, move past the quick sale and build your community”.
Watch John Davies in “introduction of Renegade Training™“.