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How to Spring Clean Your Reputation

Your social profile says a lot about you. The long trail of random thoughts and ideas you posted throughout the years forms a snapshot of your personality. It reveals your strong preferences and your subtle prejudices for everyone to see.

Scary? You bet. To avoid such exposure, some people decide to avoid social media altogether. They think that not having an online presence will save them from society’s judgment and analysis. That’s not true. As it turns out, we tend to be wary of people who don’t show up on our Google searches. We don’t trust social media ghosts.

It’s a Catch-22 for sure. But chances are, you have a few years’ worth of social posts stacked on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

When you decide to run for public office, or just want to give your social accounts a good cleanse, it’s smart to clear away posts that, “no longer represent who you are.” When Actor/Comedian Kevin Hart rose to national stardom, he should have cleaned his social media. Hart recently lost the opportunity to host the Oscar Awards Ceremony because someone discovered a number of insensitive tweets he posted years ago.

From the moment you start generating buzz about a potential run, the world will start delving into your entire body of social content. Here are three things you can do now to purge and polish your online reputation.

1. Check your social posts. You may have posted insensitive content in the past. Delete those posts. I don’t recommend deleting your entire social media accounts. However, if you’ve posted a lot of offensive matter in the past--, before you transformed yourself, you might want to delete and start over. Deleting everything may make you appear shady so weigh your pros and cons. Older social media accounts translate to a lot of content you’ll need to review. Request a download of your data. Most platforms will support a request for your archived content. It doesn’t take long to receive the .zip file but the code is not easy to read. Set aside focused time to go through your content. The process may seem tedious but it’s necessary if you may have posted insensitive items in the past.

2. Talk to your Frenemies. Think about all your relationships, both past, and present. How would you describe your participation in those relationships? If there are people in your past who may have reputation-damaging information about you and your political run, talk to your communications and legal team right away. You don’t want recent situations to arise for you as they did for the Governor of Virginia and his Lt. Governor. Develop a plan now, in order to get in front of any forthcoming or potential threats. Your team will advise you on how to address such situations.

3. Bulk up your Google presence. When people search for you on Google, you’ll want positive stories to flood the first three pages, at a minimum. Start now to document your community involvement around your community with optimized video, images, and content of you doing positive activities. Having positive online content, video of you in action and pictures of you being helpful around the community and your jurisdiction will help cancel out bland content.

If you need help planning your campaign video or developing a crisis plan to guard your reputation, contact us today.