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  So, your reputation has been damaged, whether as a person or a group, and you are feeling depressed about it. Many things – your name, brand, clients and your finance – hang on your reputation, and it seems you have made a costly mistake that has damaged your reputation or someone or some group has done some damage to it. You feel perplexed.
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Just as Warren Buffet rightly said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation, but it takes five minutes to destroy it.” So, feelings of pain, fear and regrets are normal. Maybe you or your company have experienced any of these situations:
  • Been accused of defamation or libel;
  • Been caught in the wrong place at the wrong time;
  • Violated company policy;
  • Posted or shared something offensive online;
  • Said something inappropriate in a media interview;
  • Angered former employees, investors, reporters or love interests who have taken to social media for revenge.
Repairing a reputation is truly costly, but it is worth it, because a lot hangs on it. With a damaged reputation, you can lose clients or lose social proof altogether, which can cost you money or trust. Image crisis is inevitable, and most often, people could damage your reputation just to get at you. In a very competitive industry, where dogs eat dogs, your rivals could use its image defaming stories against you or your company. However, the question remains if your reputation can be restored. In this article, I am going to highlight five ways to restore a damaged reputation.
  1. Take Proactive Response And Set Realistic Goals

The first response is to understand the gravity of the damage and get a team of experts, such as your lawyers, and PR. Use legal, administrative, financial, and PR tools to repair your reputation. Furthermore, gauge the depth of the crisis: Does it require you to refrain from social media? Will it affect your work in your industry? Are there possible outlets for repair? From these questions, you can set lines of actions to take. By all means, avoid clawbacks. Ensure you have understood the depth of what has been done.
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  1. Clearly Know The Fault Lines

Examine what went wrong. Was the damage from you? Was it a deliberate mistake or not? Do you know whom and where the damage is coming from and why? Understand the motives of those who slandered, libelled, or defamed your reputation. Are they saying the truth or lying? If you are at fault, own up to it. But if it is from elsewhere, but you are innocent, sue appropriately. However, if you are guilty of those who damaged your reputation, it is important to settle amicably with them outside the court, especially if you are sued.
  1. Lie Low, Observe and Respond

This is especially true for those who are popular. If you have noticed that your image has been damaged by you or someone else, having examined the gravity of the damage and its after-effects, it is advisable to lie low for a few months and resume with a press release or grant interviews. Own up to your mistakes if there is a video, written or legal evidence. But in a case where your reputation was damaged in a rumour, it is advisable to set the records straight. Ensure you aren’t lying low for too long before addressing the issue.
  1. Get Media Support

Get the goodwill of friends and families who will support you, especially if you are innocent of the accusations levied against you. You can get them to write a testimonial for you on social media, blog posts, and websites. You can get legal journalists that can set the records right by debating your case. Use the media to re-polish and rebrand your image.
  1. Go Humanitarian And Charitable

Another way to restore your reputation is to go humanitarian and charitable. After lying low for a while, waiting for the heat to steam off and then addressing the issue in a press release, video releases or interviews, it is advisable to support charitable courses. You can turn the table in your favour. For instance, you were caught in the act of drug abuse; you can build or donate to foundations that fight against drug addictions. In this way, people can see how remorseful you are and how much you mean it. Featured Image Source: Times Higher Education
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This article was first published on 2nd December 2021


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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