As a reputation management pioneer, Nick has the inside scoop on all things Reputation Management. This blog will focus on Reputation, practices, technologies, providers and re-shared content from some of the preeminent players in the industry. We hope you enjoy!

Posts By: Curator

Subscribe to my podcast & you could win some sweet Bose wireless earphones!

We’re twenty episodes in to the Reputation Rainmakers podcast and we’ve discussed a lot of reputation roadkill, shared some great branding tips, and had a lot of fun along the way!

Thanks to those that have already subscribed!

For you, and anyone else, I have a great contest launching today. I’m giving one lucky winner a sweet pair of Bose wireless earphones.

How do you enter? Simple! Just subscribe to the podcast. Easy huh? Oh, and you can get bonus entries when you tell your friends about the podcast too.

Improve your reputation and enjoy my weird Southern-Brit accent deep in your ear canals. OK, maybe that last part is not so much of a selling point. 😛

Thanks for listening!

Subscribe to the Reputation Rainmakers podcast

The post Subscribe to my podcast & you could win some sweet Bose wireless earphones! appeared first on Andy Beal .

Source: Andy Beal

Creating Cheap Videos for Reputation Management

Summary: A visual representation of what your business offers can give you that much-needed boost that you’ve been lacking. Contrary to popular belief, reputation management isn’t just about social media monitoring. As a matter of fact, it involves other key aspects such as creating videos/slideshows to promote your business. This guide will discuss how you […]
Source: Reputation Stars

BrandYourself Teams Up with PCA&D

BrandYourself Teams Up with PCA&D to Create a Tailored Professional Development Program for Staff

We’re very excited to announce that starting in May 2017 BrandYourself will be joining forces with the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design to create a custom continuing education course for our Concierge Services staff!

As leaders in the online reputation management space, we’re always looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve so we can provide the best possible service to our clients.  We’re also passionate about providing ongoing professional development opportunities for our staff.  So when we set out to find continuing education opportunities that made sense for our business, PCA&D was our first stop.  

Before we dive into what PCA&D was able to create for us, let’s take a minute to go over what our Reputation Specialists learn in-house and why we felt we needed even more resources for our Specialists to stay on the cutting edge.

Reputation Specialist Training

Over the first several weeks at BY, every new team member is exposed to a comprehensive survey of everything they need to know to be effective online reputation management Specialists. Some of the key topics include:

In addition to some of those harder skills, we cover our philosophy on why having a strong online presence is so important as well as how to deliver excellent client service.  We also pair new Specialists with experienced team members so they can shadow existing campaigns before taking on their own accounts.

While our training program is extensive, you can’t become an ORM expert in a few weeks.  That’s why we also conduct monthly seminars on a specific topic with the entire team.  So far in 2017, we’ve offered seminars on client communication and practical SEO strategies that can have an immediate impact on ORM campaigns.  

We’re very proud of our Reputation Specialist training, but even with an intense initial program and regular ongoing seminars, we still weren’t satisfied.  We wanted to implement some type of program that would allow even our more experienced Reputation Specialists to keep learning.  

That’s when we reached out to PCA&D.

Partnering with PCA&D

When we began looking into the best way to partner with PCA&D, we learned their Continuing Education department offers several certificate programs that are highly relevant to the online reputation management field.  

The Digital Marketing Professional and Design Professional certificates, which were just rolled out this year, would both have been great development opportunities for our staff. While any of the certificates likely would have been beneficial, we were looking for something that matched the breadth of what’s required of our Specialists. 

After explaining what we were looking for to the team at PCA&D, we learned that they could actually create a completely tailored course to meet our team’s professional development needs.  We worked together closely to build the class.  PCA&D went above and beyond to accommodate our schedule and made sure we had access to top faculty.  

After just a few weeks of coordination, we were able to arrive at a 10 session, 30 hour course that we’re excited to dive into this month.  We’ll be sending 7 of our more experienced Specialists to hone their skills in the following areas:

  • WordPress for Web Design
  • Paid and Organic Social Media Marketing
  • Content Creation and Digital Storytelling
  • Blogging for Business
  • Social Audience Engagement
  • Insights, Analytics & Strategies for Digital Marketing

We’re proud to say we’re the first organization to take advantage of PCA&D’s ability to create full-length custom courses.  We plan to make the program part of every Reputation Specialist’s professional journey at BrandYourself as we continue our mission to educate and empower our team, our Concierge clients, and our DIY users on managing their online reputations.

Learn More About PCA&D and Their Continuing Education Opportunities

Founded in 1982, PCA&D is a private, non-profit, professional art college offering BFA degrees, certificates, credentials, and curricula that enable students of all ages to pursue art as their life’s work.  

They offer continuing education classes in everything from HTML & Web Design to Adobe Illustrator to Social Media Marketing.  They also offer the following comprehensive certificate programs:

  • Digital Marketing Professional Certificate (New in 2017)
  • Design Professional Certificate  (New in 2017)
  • Digital Design Web Certificate
  • Social Media Marketing Certificate
  • Digital Design Print Certificate

Want to Work at BrandYourself?

We’re hiring!  Check out our careers page here if you’re interested in becoming part of our ever-evolving team!

The post BrandYourself Teams Up with PCA&D appeared first on BrandYourself Blog | ORM And Personal Branding.

Source: Brandyourself

Revisiting the Discoverability of Facebook Account Activity–Gordon v. TGR

The facts of this case are fairly typical. The plaintiff was hit by a truck. She sued the truck company and driver. In discovery, the defendants requested that she “download and produce an electronic copy of your Facebook account history” covering both before and after the accident. She says she has already “produced the information from her Facebook accounts that references the accident or her injuries.” Defendants aren’t satisfied.

Social media evidence can be a treasure trove for litigants, but there’s no optimal way to balance all of the competing interests. After some troubling initial rulings, courts have become more circumspect about allowing a litigant to get a litigant’s entire log of Facebook activity. It may be technologically easy to generate the Facebook activity log, but that does not end the inquiry:

Social media presents some unique challenges to courts in their efforts to determine the proper scope of discovery of relevant information and maintaining proportionality. While it is conceivable that almost any post to social media will provide some relevant information concerning a person’s physical and/or emotional health, it also has the potential to disclose more information than has historically occurred in civil litigation. While we can debate the wisdom of individuals posting information which has historically been considered private, we must recognize people are providing a great deal of personal information publicly to a very loosely defined group of “friends,” or even the entire public internet. People have always shared thoughts and feelings, but typically not in such a permanent and easily retrievable format. No court would have allowed unlimited depositions of every friend, social acquaintance, co-employee or relative of a plaintiff to inquire as to all disclosures, conversations or observations. Now far more reliable disclosures can be obtained with a simple download of a social media history. A few clicks on the computer and you shortly have what can consist of hundreds of pages of recorded postings and conversations of a party. There can be little doubt that within those postings there will be information which is relevant to some issue in the litigation. It is equally clear that much of the information will be irrelevant.

Just because the information can be retrieved quickly and inexpensively does not resolve the issue. Discovery can be burdensome even as it is inexpensive. Courts have long denied discovery of information which was easy to obtain, but which was not discoverable….

The Defendant correctly observes that there would be very little time or expense involved in the initial production of Plaintiff’s Facebook history. That’s true on the front end. The problem is that such vast information has the potential to generate additional discovery or impact trial testimony. It’s not difficult to imagine a plaintiff being required to explain every statement contained within a lengthy Facebook history in which he or she expressed some degree of angst or emotional distress or discussing life events which could be conceived to cause emotion upset, but which is extremely personal and embarrassing. There is also substantial risk that the fear of humiliation and embarrassment will dissuade injured plaintiffs from seeking recovery for legitimate damages or abandon legitimate claims. That being said, Defendant has a legitimate interest in discovery which is important to the claims and damages it is being asked to pay. Information in social media which reveals that the plaintiff is lying or exaggerating his or her injuries should not be protected from disclosure. Courts must balance these realities regarding discovery of social media and that is what most of the courts which have addressed this issue have done….

Granting access to Plaintiff’s entire Facebook history would provide minimal relevant information while exposing substantial irrelevant information. As such the discovery would exceed the proper limits of proportionality.

The court orders the following discovery:

1. The Plaintiff is ordered to produce all post-June 28, 2015 Facebook history and photos which relate to Plaintiff’s significant emotional turmoil, any mental disability or ability, or relate significant events which could reasonably be expected to result in emotional distress.

2. The Plaintiff is ordered to produce all post-June 28, 2015 Facebook history and photos which address or relate to the accident and its aftermath or any of her resulting physical or emotional injuries.

3. The Plaintiff is ordered to produce all post-June 28, 2015 Facebook history and photos which relate or show the Plaintiff’s level of activity.

In a footnote, the court adds: “The Plaintiff is to err on the side of disclosure and if the Plaintiff is uncertain, the relevant documents shall be provided to the Court for in camera review.” Note the court does not distinguish the different privacy settings for Facebook posts. For example, the court could have been more generous with the Facebook posts set to “public” than others, but private and public posts are treated the same.

So who won this discovery ruling? The defendants have to be irritated that they will get a filtered view of the Facebook account, with the potential for evidence omission or suppression. The defendants also didn’t get a chance to crack into the Facebook account pre-accident, which could theoretically have led to some damning before-and-after comparisons or clues about preexisting conditions. On the other hand, the court ordered the plaintiff to produce a wide range of post-accident material, and the footnote makes it clear that the court will be angry if the plaintiff gets caught trying to be cute. So it wouldn’t surprise me if the plaintiff decides to produce all post-accident Facebook material rather than try to engage in grammatical parsing of the court’s order. So it’s possible/probable that carefully worded discovery requests, offering the veneer of precision, will reach about the same outcome as having complete access to the account log.

Venkat’s comments: I agree this court, like most others before it, does not offer any silver bullets to resolving social media discovery disputes. The court does identify a few interests of those resisting broad discovery requests that courts typically have not focused on:

The problem is that such vast information has the potential to generate additional discovery or impact trial testimony. It’s not difficult to imagine a plaintiff being required to explain every statement contained within a lengthy Facebook history in which he or she expressed some degree of angst or emotional distress or discussing life events which could be conceived to cause emotion upset, but which is extremely personal and embarrassing. There is also substantial risk that the fear of humiliation and embarrassment will dissuade injured plaintiffs from seeking recovery for legitimate damages or abandon legitimate claims.

Neither of these seem particularly new to social media evidence. The same could be said of email evidence. The court’s resolution is similar to how courts deal with e-discovery: come up with relevant parameters and then rely on the party producing the discovery to filter and generate results.

Case citation: Gordon v. T.G.R. Logistics, Inc., 2017 WL 1947537 (D. Wy. May 10, 2017)

Some related posts:

* Judge Scolds Litigant For Making Facebook Account “Private” During Litigation–Thurmond v. Bowman
* ‘Deactivated’ Facebook Account Is Discoverable In Litigation
* Are Facebook Photos More Discoverable In Litigation Than Other Social Media Content?
* Emotional Distress Claim Doesn’t Support Fishing Expedition for Social Media Evidence
* Facebook Password Exchange Between Parties to Litigation Results in Spoliation Debacle – Gatto v. United Airlines
* Social Media Evidence Roundup – January 2013 Edition
* Virginia Supreme Court: Litigant Who “Cleans up” His Facebook Page May Be Sanctioned
* Court Orders Password Turnover and In Camera Review of Social Media Accounts – EEOC v. Original Honeybaked Ham Co.
* Social Media Discovery Case Update and Tips for Those Seeking Discovery
* A Dark Side of Data Portability: Litigators Love It
* Social Media Discovery Roundup
* Court Orders Production of Five Years’ Worth of Facebook and MySpace Posts – Thompson v. Autoliv
* Courts Continue to Grapple with Discovery Disputes Around Social Networking Evidence
* Facebook Boasts/Taunts Undermine the Legal Defense for a Fight at a House Party–In re DLW
* Connecticut Supreme Court Says no Error in Admission of Facebook Photos at Probation Hearing — State v. Altajir
* Facebook Evidence Suppressed in Skater Brawl Prosecution–People v. Bignone
* Pennsylvania Court Orders Personal Injury Plaintiff to Turn Over Facebook Password to Defendant — Largent v. Reed
* Insurance Company’s Request to Compel Production of Facebook Password Fails (with Costs)–Chauvin v. State Farm Mutual
* Court Orders Plaintiff to Turn Over Facebook and MySpace Passwords in Discovery Dispute — Zimmerman v. Weis Markets, Inc.
* Court Conducts in camera Review of Plaintiff’s Facebook Page to Resolve Discovery Dispute — Offenback v. Bowman
* Court Denies Request for Discovery of Facebook and Twitter Account Information, Finding that the Request is a “Digital Fishing Expedition”
* Contrary LinkedIn Evidence Crushes Witness’ Testimony — Blayde v. Harrah’s Entertainment
* MySpace Profile and Photo Evidence Used to Support Conviction for “Participation in Criminal Gang Activity” — State v. McCraney
* Request for Discovery of Facebook Profile and Photos Rejected as a Fishing Expedition — McCann v. Harleysville Insurance
* It May be Best to Shut Down Your Facebook Account While You are on Probation — State v. Altajir
* Court Orders Disclosure of Facebook and MySpace Passwords in Personal Injury Case — McMillen v. Hummingbird Speedway
* Deleted Facebook and MySpace Posts Are Discoverable–Romano v. Steelcase
* Judge Offers to Facebook ‘Friend’ Witnesses in Order to Resolve Discovery Dispute — Barnes v. CUS Nashville

Source: Eric Goldman Legal

How to maintain a great company reputation during downsizing & layoffs

Corporate restructuring. Store closures. Downsizing. Rightsizing due to a merger. It all means the same thing: layoffs.

Layoffs are hard on everybody. Those laid off are stunned and then angry. Those who are left behind feel bad and overwhelmed. Customers also feel betrayed, especially when the layoffs go along with store closures. About the only people who don’t feel the pain of a layoff are the stock holders – they’re always happy to see expenses go down so profits can go up. But even they won’t be happy if the company’s reputation takes a public hit.

Is there any way to ruin people’s lives without looking like a Batman villain? It’s not easy, but you’ve got to try. It all begins with the right voice.

Look at these two examples:

“A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions. . . . Dynamic change demands an increased focus on versatility and value, and as a result, we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent. . . necessary to meet those demands.  We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week.  A limited number of other positions will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs.”


“After a lot of analysis and soul searching, we decided to radically simplify our strategy to re-focus on what we love and what our customers value from us: . . . What does this mean for the company? This is the gut-wrenchingly painful part. The hardest part of my job is asking people who have put their hearts and souls into [the company] to part ways. . . . They are a part of the family and it is heartbreaking that they will not be working alongside us in the future.
We will do everything we can to give them the [best] transition possible, including severance, coaching, and assistance finding new roles. Because I know the caliber of folks we’re parting with, I am confident they will go on to do great things.”

In the first example, we’re doing what’s best for the company (not the customers). It’s “necessary” and “difficult” and oh, by the way, after we fire a bunch of people, we’ll be hiring a few more. (huh?)

The second example involves what’s best for the customer, “soul searching”, “heartbreaking”, “family” and assurances that these valued employees will be looked after.

Which one leaves you feeling better about the company behind the layoffs?

The cold response comes from ESPN’s public post regarding their recent and unprecedented layoff of well-known TV personalities and reporters. The second was CEO Sarah Bird of search company Moz.

In both cases, valued employees were cut loose, but Moz’s CEO comes off sounding truly remorseful and that’s all the public wants to hear. Your customers understand that times are tough; they just want to believe that you truly had no other choice.

As for your workers – both the ones being let go and the ones left behind – they want two assurances. They want to know that you’ll make the transition as easy as possible and that the cuts will actually benefit the company and the customers.

In addition to making public promises, it’s important to communicate internally as often and as personally as possible. Don’t leave employees wondering about insurance and severance packages. Have those details ready to hand out as soon as you lower the boom.

The time to think about security and the company’s future reputation is before you hand out the pink slips. Your tech team needs to cut digital ties with laid off employees in a way that both protects the company and yet doesn’t leave the employee feeling like an untrustworthy criminal. Most employees, if treated fairly, won’t take any actions to harm the company, but it’s an emotional time, so you need to be prepared.

Look at the recent case involving Radio Shack where soon-to-be-laid-off workers created a nasty Facebook page maligning the company and the customers. You can’t stop people from speaking out on their own social channels – well, you can try with a clause in their severance package contract but good luck enforcing that – but you can keep them from corrupting the company owned social media channels.

Throughout the layoff process, it’s important to put the best interest of people in front of profits both publicly and privately. Everyone knows that cuts are about reducing overhead so there’s no reason to beat that drum. Talk about the people who are leaving. Talk about how the changes will impact your current customers and talk to your remaining staff about how their work world is going to change, too. Then, after the press has moved on to the next crisis, begin talking about the future.

If you handled yourself well in the midst of it all, the future for you, your company and the people you support will be brighter than ever.

Source: Reputation Refinery