Reputation Management for Athletes

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Yes, you're an athlete but you're also so much more than that. You're a role model. Whether you like it or not there are always eyes looking to see what you're doing, what you're saying and how you're behaving. You're heavily scrutinized. Why, you may wonder? Because to lots of people, athletes are who they look up to as models of success; realizations of the American dream. What happens when an athlete's perception in the public falls short? What is to be done when all of the major headlines are reporting negative news your reputation tends to be dwindling? You manage your reputation.
You're reputation is far more valuable than just hearsay and public opinion. It essentially is your bread and butter. Just think about the endorsements. How many times have you witnessed endorsements taken from reputable athletes simply because their reputation took a hit? It happens every day. How about those athletes who never even get a stab at endorsements because a negative reputation has followed them throughout their entire career? Neither of these has to be your story. You can have it all. A lucrative career, major endorsements and a stellar reputation are all at your fingertips.
Try taking a moment to Google your name now. Notice the pictures, headlines and videos that appear on the first page of the search engine. Are these things proper representation of you as an athlete; a commodity? If upon assessing your online reputation you gather that you don't like what you see, there is a change in order. It is time to implement a strategic and thorough reputation management strategy. Here are a few tips:

Review Notifications: Always stay on top of this; notice who is saying what and why. See where the criticism is coming from; read comments. Constantly scour the major search engines to see the trends in stories about you. Know the news.

Address it: The good thing about the interconnecting ability of the internet is we have the ability to communicate and respond in an open forum. Address the naysayers. Go to these different links on these different sites and protect yourself. Timeliness is of the greatest importance in this instance. Fans and potential endorsing companies want to see that you are serious about the way you represent yourself so that they know how you they, in turn, will be represented.

Evoke change: Here is where you take the proactive approach in reputation management; through use of search engine optimization. Constantly circulate positive PR and use organic SEO to boost positive PR. Keep your web content up to date. Create original content to be circulated.
Reputation management is an ongoing process. This management of your reputation is as essential to the success of your career as your craft. You are likely overwhelmed looking at all that needs to be done to ensure that your reputation is of good standing on the internet at all times. You can't even begin to assess where to start.
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