Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Digital Filipino Talks: Personal Branding and Reputation Management Through Social Media

In one of the past episodes of Digital Filipino Talks, Personal Branding and Reputation Management Through Social Media became quite an issue. It was during that time the issue of the Big Bad Blogger came out, and how it affected the reputation of bloggers as a whole.

Personal Branding and Reputation Management Through Social Media from Janette Toral on Vimeo.

Interviewed for this episode was Mr. Carlo Ople of NewMedia.com. Here in this episode, he shares his experiences on how to improve your popularity and reputation online.

My views on the topic:

Personal branding and reputation is something we have to protect, whether online or not. Without our good reputation, as bloggers, we will not be able to establish trust with our followers. We will not be able to establish good ties with possible sponsors, or communicate effectively with fellow bloggers.

To protect my image online as a blogger, first and foremost, I should be conscious of the way I write. For example, if wrote an article, I should make sure that what I write is accurate and truthful. If in case my statements can be damaging to others, I should also make sure, that the way I write should not be intended to destroy reputation, but give positive criticism. Second, I should avoid writing malicious statements against other people, even if doing so can boost my popularity. This is because sowing intrigue can also ruin the reputation of others - something I find improper and immoral.

But even with all the effort to protect your image, there will be people out there, some influential even, who can possibly destroy or tarnish your good name.

Take the case of the unnamed Big Bad Blogger, whoever he is. What if the Big Bad Blogger was a real person? Since this became quite an issue because it was released in a popular newspaper column, he must also make an effort to clear his name. Even if Mr. Ople gave good advice on what to do to resolve the issue, the fact remains that he has to work extra to undo this mess. All that because a columnist wrote about a Big Bad Blogger blind item... for popularity's sake?

If I were on BBB's shoes, should I come out and say I am that person? Or should I stay unrevealed? My choice is I'd rather stay quiet about it. This is because BBB was unnamed anyway. If I came out in the open and say I was the BBB, even if I talked to the writer and the restaurant owner to air my side, there will still be people who will be skeptical on what you say.

One particular example similar to BBB is Willie Revillame, who now has a reputation being a child exploiter. I know a lot of people do not like Mr. Willie, (me included), because of his brash actions in the past. Let's mention some of his controversial misdeeds:

1) his role during the Wowowee stampede at the Ultra coliseum.
2) his statements during the Cory Aquino funeral procession
3) his allowing of a child to dance even if it looked like he didn't want to in front of a jeering/cheering crowd.

If you put yourself in Willie's shoes, what can you do to protect your reputation? No matter what Willie says, other people will see it the opposite way, specially now that there are a lot of people who do not like him. He may have not intentionally did this to destroy other people's lives. But what he did is always open to interpretation.

Even though he has unlikable traits and may have done misdeeds in the past, I think we should give him a chance to do his part in clearing his reputation, specially on the child abuse issue. It was only when the child's video in Willing Willie was posted on Youtube did so many people react negatively. We never really know what emotions went on during that moment. Only Willie and the child can tell that story.

Just like BBB, Willie may have his faults and weaknesses that can damage his own reputation, but in the end, don't we all?

This is my entry to DigitalFilipino.com's Talks Blog Contest. Be part of the conversation. Visit the contest page to join. Feel free to comment on my blog post about Personal Branding and Reputation Management Through Social Media.

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