The Intersection of Online Reputation and Character

Martin Luther King once said that “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Today things are more complicated because character is discovered only after an online reputation is examined.

For example, running a political campaign has never been trickier. Candidates have to take so much time to measure their words and actions that you can’t be surprised when someone gets tongue-tied. After all, they’ve been briefed and coached so much that there is hardly room for spontaneity. Saturday Night Live famously compared one candidate to a robot.

In many ways, the internet is to blame. “Gotcha politics” has truly become an art form with YouTube, Twitter and every other site at the disposal of a crafty political campaign. Every candidate is going to make blunders over the course of a campaign, so there is no point in looking for the perfect person. All you can do is make sure the internet reputation reflects the candidate’s core values.

Starting with the campaign website, you should have these values spelled out clearly, with examples and reinforcement at every corner. The auxiliary sites should be addressed next. Is the Facebook page a worthy companion or something that could work against the candidate?

Of course, you will also need to have measures of internet reputation protection. No matter how careful you are to present the core values of your candidate clearly, there is going to be incidents where words are taken out of context and even downright corrupted. A system of internet reputation protection needs to be in place to combat this type of onslaught from an opponent.

How your campaign sculpts a candidate’s internet reputation could be the difference between winning and losing. Never take it lightly and have a system of protection in place when you need damage control.

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