Reputation Destruction and Crisis Management

    April 6, 2005

Jim Horton is talking about reputation destruction, and his post on ruined CEO reputation coincides with a story a friend told me recently of how he suspected one of his competitors might be spreading rumours about his company to damaging effect. Both are offline examples, so what of online reputation crisis management?

Link: Jim Horton

It’s not an area i’m overly familiar with but it’s certainly interesting. I’ve heard tales, as im sure many have of various ways in which to sabotage ones competitors online:

* Bogus blog spam
* Bogus email spam
* Click fruad
* Hate sites
* Blog and forum comments attacking a company
* There are probably many more…

With some of the above, particularly bogus blog spam, where you would, as the aggresor, go out and spam in your competitors name, it’s easy to knobble a competitor, at least temporarily. In that example, just make several angry calls to his hosting company, many of them dont do any kind of investigation, they just turf him out rather than have the hassle.

And on the subject of hate sites, how about this post from Gary Stein that details how one dissatisfied hair transplant patient put up a site in the companies name, was sued, and won!

The judge determined that there was no copyright infringement because this was not commercial speech–the site was not put up by a competitor, nor would anyone confuse this site with the actual Bosley Medical site.

Off hand, I can think of at least two operations that specialize in knobbling online businesses, and I wonder just how big a business it is, and if there is a counter business of reputation protection…

Nick Wilson is the publisher and founder of

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