Reputation management

Reputation management is a strategy in which campaign operators issue widespread press, content, or marketing materials in order to hide negative information, while amplifying positive news about their product, service, or cause. Reputation management is a strategy bigger than an individual refuting false claims about themselves; instead, reputation management refers to a concerted and deliberate strategy backed by resources (i.e. funding) and is professionalized, meaning those running the campaign are either paid or working on behalf of a company, client, or organization. Reputation management requires money and access to the professionals who provide these services, as the costs of reputation management services are only available to those already in positions of (financial) power.

Reputation management occurs online (on wire services, websites, and social media platforms) as well as offline (ex. billboards). Some of the tactics involved include using search engine optimization (increasing the likelihood that specific keywords appear first in search results), wire services to distribute materials across local news services, making YouTube videos that explain and promote their product, highlighting customer testimonials about the product on their homepage, and/or paying influencers to promote a service or product .

Reputation management may be referred to as “crisis communications,” which is when an organization, individual, or company seeks to protect itself against a public threat to its image—such as the emergence of controversial or reputation-damaging news. This strategy has been used by celebrities as well as extractivist industries, tobacco companies, and countries who wish to create a more positive image of themselves. For an example of reputation management, see the case study on “Astroturfing: How Hijacked Accounts And Dark Public Relations Faked Support For China's Response To Covid-19” and “Cord Blood and Medical Misinformation: The Big Business of Unproven Stem Cell Treatments."

Reputation management is a Casebook value under the "Strategy" variable in the code book.

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