The last sentence in this LA Times article “UC Davis spends $175,000 to sanitize its online image after ugly pepper spray episode“ reads: “It’s very important to manage a reputation, and people often don’t realize that,” Kalb said. “So many companies have been seriously damaged for not having a strategy for handling this.”
There’s nothing wrong with “reputation management” when you’re being slandered or lied about. But what happened on the UC Davis campus on November 18, 2011, was captured on cell phones and immediately went viral. All of the action was plain to see: a UC Davis Campus police officer pepper-spraying protestors while they sat on the ground.
If you want to manage your reputation, just start with, “We’re sorry.” Why is that so damn difficult? Has UC Davis never read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People“?
As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Legacy is greater than currency.” Listen to him break down this concept, and think to yourself “why the hell didn’t UC Davis follow this blueprint?” Reputation is always based on simple math: is your intent “good” or is your intent “bad”?