Your brand’s ‘gotcha’ moment is only a tweet away

Rosanna Fiske, the chair and chief executive officer of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), explains how the digital age is shaping new realities in reputation management.

We were graced with the ill-timed reminder by former BP CEO Tony Hayward that he’d “like [his] life back” in the wake of the Deep Horizon oil spill.

There was a spate of well-publicized spats between Apple’s Steve Jobs and some of the company’s more ardent customers.

And, in an effort to never let a good promotional opportunity pass him by, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged New Yorkers to “take in a Broadway play” in the immediate aftermath of a crippling snowstorm last December.

Taken separately, these slips of the tongue likely would not amount to much. But, as a whole, they reiterate an age-old reality in executive reputation management—one that’s critical in the digital age: perception matters.

Our words, when combined with compelling images, can shape who we are as leaders, and how others perceive our authority and credibility. The “Gotcha” moment is only a tweet away. Tech-savvy constituents and stakeholders have the ability to instantly rebuke what they perceive to be hypocritical statements and grandstanding.

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