Books: Reputation Protection

Public relations and online fix-it consultant John David tells you how to take control of your online brand.

How to Protect (or Destroy) Your Reputation Online: The Essential Guide to Avoid Digital Damage, Lock Down Your Brand, and Defend Your Business

By John David; Career Press; 224 Pages; $16.99

You may be smart and competent in person, but take it from public relations and online fix-it consultant John David: Without a reputation protection strategy, you can easily appear stupid and vulnerable online. Forever.

In How to Protect (or Destroy) Your Reputation Online: The Essential Guide to Avoid Digital Damage, Lock Down Your Brand, and Defend Your Business, David notes that 18 percent of companies have fired employees for a social media post. And 40 percent of employers will make a job offer only after checking a candidate’s online presence.

Your organization also is at risk. The anecdotes David shares are the stuff of any association executive’s nightmares—unfair reviews or accusations that never seem to die, stubborn first-page Google rankings that showcase online complaints, and more.

Fortunately, David has created this guide to regaining control in the Wild West of the internet, including the how-to of suppression campaigns (placing loads of positive content about you or your brand onto Google-valued websites such as Twitter to push negative content past page-four search results).

“Reputational firewalls,” built in part by strong social media policies and practices and monitoring tools, also are in the arsenal against online attacks.

To “lazy” professionals who think staying “off the grid” of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn is safest and easiest, David warns that others will end up crafting online personas for them.

Guaranteed to help you sleep better at night.


The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

By Kevin Kelly; Viking; 328 Pages; $28

If you need a book that blows your mind, futurist Kevin Kelly is happy to comply. His latest highly readable contribution to technology literature analyzes a dozen trends that appear to be merging in ways that will revolutionize our methods of learning, working, consuming, and relating by the year 2046.

In Kelly’s 30-years-out vision, we become much better at customizing new technologies to manage and maximize our actions. Our mastery will cover innovation successes in everything from accessing, tracking, and sharing information to filtering, remixing, and questioning it.

The chapter on interacting is especially interesting for associations, since it redefines what “associating” means for people and things (imagine literally dancing with data as you give a conference presentation). Start preparing now.

And, yes, some robots are involved.


Getting To “Yes And”: The Art of Business Improv

By Bob Kulhan; Stanford University Press; 280 Pages; $29.95

You won’t find giggles in this script for mastering business improvisation by Second City alumnus Bob Kulhan. A skills-focused walkthrough to “allow serious people to accomplish serious business in the most effective way,” the book shows how improv draws on communication science like behavioral decision theory.

Using Kulhan’s “yes, and” approach, leaders create “mental hiccups in the business mind” that upgrade reacting, adapting, and communicating to higher levels of critical thinking. One key: teaching our brain to postpone natural leaps to judgment in favor of “unconditional acceptance.”

With advice from Kulhan—now an adjunct professor at Duke and Columbia universities—and practice, you can improvise better negotiations, brainstorming, and that meeting with your moody boss.

It’s an admission ticket to a performance of you at your best.

Kristin Clarke, CAE

By Kristin Clarke, CAE

Kristin Clarke, CAE, is books editor for Associations Now and president of Clarke Association Content. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!