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5 ways to ruin your industry reputation

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Your greatest asset

Why is it that some people appear to repel business while others have an abundance of business everywhere they look? On both the buy side and the sell side, a handful of missteps can ruin your industry reputation and leave you fighting an ongoing uphill battle towards your business objectives.

In my 10+ years in the interactive space, I've observed many different types of personalities, business styles and sales tactics. Over this time, with all of the changes that have happened in our industry, I keep seeing people make the same mistakes that leave me scratching my head saying, "What was he thinking?"

While sometimes amusing, but most of the time annoying, these mistakes made repeatedly can easily doom the career of a newbie just starting out as easily as they can cause a serious thud to the career of an industry veteran. In a highly connected industry where information travels quickly and people love to talk, your reputation can either be your greatest asset or your Achilles' heel.

The good news is that even if you've made these mistakes before, all is not lost. As long as you maintain your ethics and integrity and your intention is in the right place, you can be rebuilt "better, stronger, faster."

Although there are numerous ways to flush your industry reputation down the toilet, here are the top five that I've witnessed over and over again.

 

Comments

Joseph Porcellini
Joseph Porcellini July 22, 2008 at 11:42 PM

Sean,

Well said. Companies need to spend more time training and retaining there sales teams.

As a publisher, we continue to stress the importance on Positively Outstanding Service & Treatment. In order to succeed the #1 thing we need to do is listen to our customers!

Thank you for your insights.

Zohra Parnell
Zohra Parnell June 21, 2008 at 10:13 AM

Hello,

I am so empressed by the comments of the Author Sean Cheyney that even if you have made mistakes before, But as long you maintain your integrity and ethics to rebuild yourself a better and stronger way, that is amazing, never to give up, continue to walk until you get there.

Very positive notes.

Thank you,

ZP

Sean Cheyney
Sean Cheyney June 18, 2008 at 11:00 PM

Adam,
Excellent points. It's easy to forget that job candidates are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. The same tactics that I use as a hiring manager I'm sure are being used to some degree by the people that I'm hiring.

Adam Kmiec
Adam Kmiec June 18, 2008 at 10:02 PM

Sean

Don't forget about personal reputation as it comes to working with/for people. If you don't honor your word when you manage someone that information travels fast. It's a sure fire way to have top talent look the other way.

Adam

Gillian Kelly
Gillian Kelly June 18, 2008 at 8:50 PM

Great article! As a personal branding strategist I continually talk about the value of your personal reputation to your business and career. Everything you do should be analysed to ensure that it enhances your reputation in the long term. Don't get caught up in short-term gain at the risk of long term loss. I think everyone should live by the 'first do no harm' principle. Act ethically and authentically everyday and the rest will follow.

Denise Zimmerman
Denise Zimmerman June 18, 2008 at 5:21 PM

Hi Sean,

I thought this was a great article and a topic that rarely if ever is addressed publicly. Valuable advice! Bravo!

-- Denise

Sean Cheyney
Sean Cheyney June 18, 2008 at 1:19 PM

Thanks John. I appreciate your supportive comments. You and everyone at your agency have always been a stellar example of how to do things the right way and your continued success is proof positive.

John Durham
John Durham June 18, 2008 at 11:31 AM

should be must reading for all entry level people at brands, agencies and publishers. Sean, as usual, you drive points home in a smart and engaging way

i have already sent this to several agency and publisher people with a note to go over in meetings, valuable stuff

and sent to everyone in our office and during our weekly staff meeting, will discuss!

John Durham
John Durham June 18, 2008 at 11:31 AM

should be must reading for all entry level people at brands, agencies and publishers. Sean, as usual, you drive points home in a smart and engaging way

i have already sent this to several agency and publisher people with a note to go over in meetings, valuable stuff

and sent to everyone in our office and during our weekly staff meeting, will discuss!

Tim Bottiglieri
Tim Bottiglieri June 18, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Mr Cheyney, well said sir, lesson in business ethics, let's also include personal lives. Those that throw stones, eventually end up bruised themselves.

Sean Cheyney
Sean Cheyney June 18, 2008 at 10:32 AM

Kip, Thanks for pointing that one out. You're right on the money. At least 2-3 times per week I get an introduction email from someone that includes an attachment so big that it clogs my inbox. The result is an immediate delete of future emails and voice mails from those people.

Sean Cheyney
Sean Cheyney June 18, 2008 at 10:29 AM

Steve, I couldn't agree more with your assessment. Partnership is about the long term.

Kip Edwardson
Kip Edwardson June 18, 2008 at 10:25 AM

And don't send attachments or use email to introduce yourself. To me, email is still very impersonal. A phone call always is best, and when you call ask if the person on the other end has 3-5 minutes to talk. If not now, set up a time later and then ask PERMISSION to send an email. When I was in PR, the rule of thumb when calling a reporter was to always ask how they like to get information from your company, and respect deadlines.

steve jacoby
steve jacoby June 18, 2008 at 10:17 AM

RIGHT ON! I think if more people pay close attention to these key insights, we'll all be much better off. Doing the right "things” will earn trust and respect, doing the wrong "things” will lose you respect and business. These key qualities make up great partnerships, and great partnerships usually make for good business.