It may be scary to think about it this way, but you, my friend, have a reputation.

You are continually building or validating that reputation, and you are being helped along in that endeavor by people all around you, often when you aren’t present to either confirm or contest the feedback.

I got this...

I got this…

Our personal information is out there everywhere. For the weak of heart, this means a reluctance to “participate” in a socially transparent world. That leaves two distinct categories for the rest of us:

  1. Protection-focused
  2. Projection-focused

Companies, for the most part, are not given the luxury of “choosing” to participate. If you have employees, you are participating, even if only by proxy. Whether it’s Facebook, CafePharma, or GlassDoor, there’s any number of avenues for the public to post information about your company & services. The assumption is that these public discussions will be of the negative variety, so the reaction of most companies is to “protect.” Tighten social media policies, carefully monitor and vet on-line discussions regarding the brand – generally living on the hope that negative feedback is held to a minimum.

That, my friends, is a poor man’s game.

It’s time for your organization to get off their respective heels, and choose to project their reputation instead. Granted, that can be a tough message to sell to an old-school mindset, so what’s a girl to do?

You can start by giving us an hour…Times are changing. Rather than view reputation sites as a threat, smart companies are learning how to use them to manage their employment brand, connect with candidates and make better hires. Instead of playing defense, companies are leading the discussion and encouraging the public to join in. If it sounds like marketing, that’s because it IS marketing. When you choose to be reactive, you tend to spin/explain/justify ~ similar to a boxer who is afraid to throw a punch for fear of exposing his jaw, you are instead brought down methodically with punches to the mid-section.

On July 30th at 2pm EST, Kris Dunn and Tim Sackett from FOT will continue their virtual bromance while discussing How Smart Talent Pros are Becoming Better Marketers – By Using Company Reputation Sites Like Glassdoor.”  

Employees talk. Future employees read. Why not start participating in the message? It’s less about control and more about brand projection – businesses are a consumer product, subject to the reviews and critiques of a highly interactive public that includes past, present, and future employees…and right now the businesses are playing catch-up.

Join us, your reputation may depend on it.