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Reputation Management: How To Avoid Scandal Because Of Breach Of Contract

By Business Contracts, Business Lawyer

Reputation Management: How To Avoid Scandal When There’s A Breach Of ContractA professionally prepared agreement is essential to reputation management. Because it can help you avoid a PR disaster when there’s a breach of contract.

How bad can it get?

As an example, look at the lawsuit by the National Rifle Association (NRA)* against its ad agency for breach of contract. Among other things, the NRA is seeking $40 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages. The lawsuit and related news stories will do nothing to help either party protect its reputation.

So, how do you prevent bad publicity? Here are 4 important reputation management tactics…

1. Pre-Agreement Due Diligence

Before signing a business contract, research the other party. Check to see if there is a history of lawsuits or the other party using social media to hurt another company’s reputation online. Walk away from the potential deal if there is such a history.

2. Confidentiality

The written agreement should contain confidentiality/non-disclosure provisions to protect important data.

3. Non-Disparagement

Your contract should provide that neither party will disparage the other during and after performance of the agreement. In some instances, it may make sense to include a large liquidated damages amount to be paid by a party if they do decide to denigrate the other party in violation of the agreement.

4. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Rather than publicly airing the dispute with nasty claims and counterclaims in a lawsuit, it often makes sense for a contract to provide for confidential alternative dispute resolution. This can include mediation and binding arbitration using JAMS or AAA rules and procedures.

Other Reputation Management Contract Terms

Of course, there are other provisions that an experienced business contracts lawyer will include in your agreement for reputation management. Just make sure you put the right contract in place that protects your good name in case the relationship between the parties deteriorates. Because you can’t afford to leave business reputation management to chance.

* Disclosure – Business Lawyer Mike Young is a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and strong supporter of Second Amendment rights. However, he does not represent the NRA as legal counsel in this lawsuit or other matters.

Reputation Management Online: Restaurant Owner Response to Customer Reviews Backfires

By Internet Lawyer

There are many effective ways to manage your company’s reputation on the Internet. However, your reputation management activities should not include the mistakes made by a Canadian restaurant owner who because upset about negative client reviews posted online.

To retaliate, the restaurant owner set up a fake profile for her client on a sex-oriented website and sent out inappropriate related emails.

Now, the owner has been found guilty of criminal libel. This means she’s got massive legal problems in addition a reputation issue that’s far worse than if she had simply used legitimate reputation management SEO strategies and tactics.

If you’re upset about client reviews for your business on the Internet, consult with your Internet lawyer to map out a game plan to minimize the damage caused without incurring legal liability or further damaging your online reputation. Your Internet attorney can work with you and a legitimate SEO company to help repair your reputation.

Why your online reputation stinks

By Internet Lawyer
Internet Attorney reputation management

Online Reputation Management

Prospective clients come to me as an Internet attorney to clean up a mess when their reputation online has been damaged by negative content posted on third party sites, such as consumer protection websites. Because I focus on growing lawsuit-free Internet businesses, damage control after-the-fact seems like a waste of time because the issue typically could have been prevented in the first place.

These negative comments are often the result of someone pretending to be an innocent client when in reality it’s a competitor or someone else with a grudge trying to put you out of business.

You’ve already lost the debate if you’re reacting instead of shaping your story online. You want to put your best foot forward by encouraging positive feedback from your clients, suppliers, and others you do business with. Nothing presents you in a better light than a happy client using their own words to deliver a message you want to see online instead of negative reviews and complaints.

What if you’ve screwed up? Work with your Internet attorney to map out a game plan that limits your liability exposure. And take corrective action a.s.a.p. If your lawyer agrees, consider issuing a “we goofed and here’s what we’re going to do to fix it” statement.

If you don’t know how to shape your online reputation, a good starting point is heading over to Marketing Pilgrim to check out all the stuff written by online reputation consultant Andy Beal.

Remember that it’s ideal to protect your reputation online in the first place by creating the content that you want seen as search engine results when someone is looking you up or your business using Google, Bing, or Yahoo. If you’re at a point of playing SERM catch-up or heading to court to try to stop the public relations bleeding, you’ve already lost the war even if you win the battle.

To your online success!

-Mike the Internet Attorney