By Andrew Blum*

Who will give me my good name back? A number of years ago, a one-time U.S. Secretary of Labor and corporate executive was indicted, tried and then acquitted in a high-profile fraud case. In the end what he wanted back, in his words, was his reputation.

Reputation is everything, whether you are a corporation, a politician or an executive. Today, we have Volkswagen and other companies who stepped in it reputation-wise. And they are doing their damnedest to repair the damage.

But long before you get to the point of having to think about repairing your reputation, you need to set up PR protocols on how you put your best foot forward with all your communications. And you also need to monitor how your reputation is perceived and reported on both in the news media and on social media.

One way to monitor your reputation is to use a service like Critical Mention. Depending on what the monitoring finds, you will then need to refine or repair your reputation with either in-house PR staff or outside agencies.

Taking steps like these can help you avoid the fate of former Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan, who wanted to know where he could go to get his reputation back, after the fact.

By taking proactive steps to protect you or your company, you lessen the odds of facing shareholders, stakeholders, contributors or employees to explain what happened to your corporate reputation.

*Andrew Blum is a PR consultant and media trainer and principal of AJB Communications. He has directed PR for professional services and financial services firms, NGOs, agencies and other clients. As a PR executive, and formerly as a journalist, he has been involved on both sides of the media aisle in some of the most media intensive crises of the past 25 years. Contact him at ajbcomms@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter: @ajbcomms

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