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According to Entrepreneur, reputation repair is a subspecialty within reputation management. And it’s getting greater attention in our current climate due to the #MeToo movement, higher scrutiny of corporate executives and the visibility of social media. These factors exponentially have elevated demand for individuals to live authentic, culturally acceptable lives whose careers embody that same meaning. But sometimes they don’t. Crisis is inevitable when public perception of an individual’s value and contributions conflict with who he or she wants to be. It’s a very public type of dissonance. Reputation-management specialists are trained to help people navigate options, design proactive strategies, manage the emotional rollercoaster and recover after the dust settles. It can be challenging to wake from a perception nightmare. My clients’ names, companies, careers and livelihoods are in jeopardy unless we can resolve the issue or repair the damage. Sometimes we must pivot, changing how the individual is seen in a specific market, with online audiences, within a company or in a home community at-large. In these cases, I often wish I’d been involved earlier to help minimize negative impact or avoid larger missteps. In the words of Warren Buffett, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

1. Set realistic goals and expectations.

2. Assess the damage.

3. Separate emotion from the necessary work.

4. Thoughtfully plan your media strategy.

5. Pick your social-media fights carefully.

6. Explore all the options.

7. Be honest with yourself.