What to do when someone is running a negative online campaign against you

Image Credit: Pablo Ezequiel Nieva

Personal online reputation management is becoming increasingly necessary in an interconnected world. Your personal brand is easily shaped, diminished and even destroyed if the public doesn’t like something you’ve done or been accused of doing. 

For some people, this is most keenly felt when someone runs an ongoing and active campaign against you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a CEO, politician or YouTuber – negative content can play havoc with your image. 

However, when link suppression doesn’t work, what can you do to make the damage stop? 

 

Identify the Reason

First and foremost, let’s consider identifying the reason why the person or company in question is launching this campaign against you. What are their motivations for doing this? What do they want to achieve? 

If you can figure out why they’re doing what they’re doing, then perhaps you can begin to take steps to correct the issue. Are they a former partner that you need to make amends with? A person or party that is directly affected by your actions? The fastest way to make the problem go away is often to remove the contention, and it makes negative content removal that much easier. 

 

Do a Press Release

If you’re trying to work on personal online reputation management, then it could be a good idea to put out a press release and show that you’re working to maintain your image. 

A press release is something which will help you to consolidate your position and allows you to deliver a message to the world. You can feature a press release in a range of locations to get the message out to as many people as possible, including using your own social media channels. 

A press release can be a good way to distance yourself from past events, or to help you reinforce a current position. Both of these would be useful in the face of an active campaign, and for consolidating your position when negative content removal isn’t possible. 

 

Use Social Media

If you’re the target of an ongoing and active campaign to discredit your image, you need to make sure you maintain an active social media presence. 

“Going silent’ on social media isn’t advisable, but neither do you don’t want to be seen as overdoing it, because that looks like trying to cover up or compensate for something. The trick is to strike a fine balance of the deal, which is admittedly more difficult than you might presume.

 

Video Content

In a similar vein to a statement or a press release, video content can be quite powerful. When it comes to personal reputation management, there is a need to try and actively protect your reputation as much as you can, and a video can be a strong way to put a message across, whilst at the same time creating a piece of content that can be shared around quite easily.

It’s no secret that people respond better to videos on the Internet than statements. The video allows you to quickly and easily make a statement and clarify your position in just 20 to 30 seconds of footage, whereas a statement can take time to draft, and may not even be read by everybody.

Another great benefit to video is that you can use it to convince your audience of your sincerity with body language and this can be very helpful. When trying to prevent damage to your reputation, you have to convince people that you are sincere in what you are saying, which is a lot easier when you have emotive body language to help you.

 

Charitable Actions

When you can’t remove negative content, you can always do things which will create positive content instead. 

When someone searches for information about you online, what do you want them to find? It’s all about securing your reputation in the most positive way possible. This isn’t always easy, of course. 

Charitable actions can go a long way to improve your image and help you in projecting an image of someone who is trying to put the needs of the greater community above your own.

There are a couple of different ways that you can do this. You could try giving money to a local charity or providing equipment for a local school. Some people and companies even set up a scholarship fund for young people, giving them more chances to get into education. 

Whatever you choose to do, it helps to give you the best results when it comes to improving your online reputation. You are promoting a different view of yourself, one which will run contrary to the campaign against you. In time, this will hopefully result in people seeing you in a different light. 

 

Final Thoughts 

Someone who is running an active campaign against you is hard to deal with. To some extent, you can assess your legal position and sue for defamation, but this can prove incredibly expensive, especially given the anonymity the internet enables. 

Ultimately, your best approach is to try and create positive content to seek to work around the negative content created about you. Certainly, this can be difficult to do, but is likely to be worthwhile in the long run if you can get it right. It does however take time, effort and investment to make sure things go according to plan. 

What you are trying to achieve is to tell the story you prefer to be known with your actions. Your approach should be to determine what kind of message will help to put you back into the right place, and make sure people see it. Content management is hard to do, but it is worth it in the long run, so it is well-worth taking a look at and getting the best results from, even if it takes a time to get right. 

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