Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Five Ways to Destroy your Online Reputation

By Stephen Abbott, Abbott Public Relations

Engage in Flame Wars – Allow people to get under your skin. Swear at them, yell in ALL CAPS. Say things about people you’ll later regret, but cannot erase, because they’re on a chat board now. Forever. Be sure to use your own name when doing this (and just a note, even a pseudonym may not hide you if you sounds like, well, you. Say far worse things online than you ever would in person, face-to-face with others, including to people you know and would otherwise treat with respect.

Post Pictures Injudiciously – Post pictures of yourself drunk, or drinking heavily. Touching members of the opposite sex inappropriately is a plus. Or if you’re passed out. Or post pictures of co-workers or clients in these conditions. (Forget that pictures online last forever, even if they’re posted for moment. Pretend others can’t “tag” you on Facebook or that people can save the photos and repost them or save them for future ‘reference’ – even if they’re up online for a few moments.)

Spam Everyone, All The Time – Send people emails to join your Multi-Level marketing business. Do it every day. Do it five times a day. Ask them to join your religion. Constantly. Post messages about how they’re going to hell if they don’t join. Post prayers and scripture passages. Tell them they are wrong, about everything. Post 1,000-word Facebook messages about your cat, or dog, or fish, or about your vacation. Pester people generally. Try to sell them something. Exclusively use for business your PERSONAL Facebook page (don’t create your own business page, whatever you do!) Explain in great detail why their football team is going to lose. Do it every day, leading up to the game. Insult the players’ personal lives, physical appearances and religions. Insult others’ intelligence for supporting that team. Double your efforts if it’s their high school team. Extra points if your target is the child of a friend who plays on a youth team.

Tick Off Angry, Social Media-Savvy Customers – Pretend the Internet doesn’t exist. Treat customers with contempt, thinking “they can’t do anything about it.” Pretend that we live in the pre-internet days when a nasty experience only got blasted to 10-20 people, rather than 10,000 to 20,000 in an instant, via Facebook, twitter, yelp, Yahoo Local listings, or any number of outlets. Pretend your customer with a camera in her phone WILL NOT post your profanity-laced treatment of your employees on YouTube, and that it won’t go viral and make you a laughingstock.

Generate Negativity – Do all of the above, with reckless abandon – and more. Post hateful statements on others’ Facebook posts. Trash talk everyone. Overly use profanity. Everyone loves profanity. Call people names. Try to goad people into acting the same way. Continue the thread. Threaten people. Insult people’s parents, spouses and children. The Internet will shield you from any repercussions.


If you’ve messed up, or have been the target of any of this behavior, please contact Abbott PR and we can begin repairing your reputation or that of your business. http://www.abbottpr.com

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