Celebrity reputation management is different than for the non-famous. Some of the people who have the greatest need for reputation management are celebrities. Because celebrities live in the public eye, the news about them – good and bad – moves far more quickly than it does for most people. If a celebrity does something that’s embarrassing, or that is questionable, you can be sure that everyone on the Internet is going to know, and people are going to be talking about it. Reputation management online is difficult when dealing with private individuals and businesses. Celebrity reputation management is an entirely different ballgame. As you will be able to see from the following examples, cleaning up a well-known figure’s reputation is not always going to be easy.
The Santorum Problem
Presidential candidate Rick Santorum who recently came in second after Mitt Romney in Ohio with 37.1% of the vote, has had a host of different problems when it comes to his reputation and the way that the public views him. One has to wonder if the .8% difference between Romney and Santorum had something to do with Mr. Santorums online reputation.
Santorum is an individual with strong opinions. Due to his religious beliefs and the incorporation of those beliefs into his politics he has raised the ire of online columnists. His stance against gay marriage garnered him some of the worst publicity of any politician in memory.
Because he is a public figure, and he is running for President this year, it’s very difficult to keep up with the negative information that comes out about him. Even the most aggressive celebrity reputation management can’t solve his problem. The public relationship managers helping him and his campaign are doing an admirable job, but you can be sure their skills will be tested in the coming months.
Of course, Santorum certainly isn’t the only politician who has troubles when it comes to public reputation problems. Presidents, senators, and politicians at all levels of government have had public relations problems that are only exacerbated by online tools.
Recent changes in search results show that Santorums biggest negative search result, SpreadingSantorum.com (created by Dan Savage) has recently dropped. Unfortunately, the anti-Santorum posts in a related blog remain.
Tiger’s PR Troubles
More than politicians are in need of celebrity reputation management. Tiger Woods is arguably one of the most famous athletes in the world, and that means that his personal issues have not stayed personal. A few years ago, when people thought of Tiger, they would only think of his great accomplishments in the game of golf. Today things are different. Tiger’s celebrity reputation problem is of a size that it is effectively indelible.
Of course, the more recent issues in Tiger’s personal life have taken center stage. Tiger and his PR people made some mistakes with his celebrity reputation management in the early days of this scandal though. They didn’t acknowledge the problem, and they kept the public in the dark. This led to speculation, and it made people believe that they were hiding something. It has taken some time, but the Internet reputation and real life reputation of Tiger is starting to mend. A few tournament wins would probably help.
Aren’t You Glad You Aren’t Famous?
Celebrities have a few problems regular people don’t. First, they are written about and commented about online often. That ‘freshness’ of content has a tendency to make search results rise according to Google. The second problem celebrities face online is that human beings tend to pay more attention to a train crash than to a train ‘not-crashing’. So when a celebrity makes even a minor misstep, all eyes turn toward them. Twitter heats up, Facebook posts spring into action, and search results become extremely fresh. A small misstep turns into a giant online problem.
So aren’t you glad you aren’t famous?