Category Archives: Reputation Management

Reputation Management: Rebuilding Lance Armstrong

By David Calusdian, Executive Vice President & Partner

As bad as things look for Lance Armstrong amidst the doping scandal that has cost him seven Tour De France titles and millions in endorsement deals, he has an opportunity that few in need of reputation management ever have. This opportunity for reputation redemption comes not from his status as the most successful athlete his sport has ever seen, but as the founder of LiveStrong, an organization that provides support for people fighting cancer around the world. It is much easier to forgive athletes like Lance for “on-the-field” discretions when they also are known for altruistic works off the field. 

Armstrong, however, like anyone in the middle of a crisis, needs to be realistic about what type of a reputation rescue is even possible. For example, can the career be saved? Could there be endorsement deals in the future? Can the hearts and minds of the general public be won over again? In Armstrong’s case, the cycling career is over, and so too are the endorsements. But his ability to regain respect as a leader in the cancer community and to take back the LiveStrong chairmanship he recently resigned is entirely possible. Continue reading

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Reputation Management for The Great Pumpkin

A Halloween Lesson with Apologies to Charles M. Schulz

By David Calusdian, Executive Vice President & Partner

Year in and year out, Linus sits in the neighborhood pumpkin patch trying to impress Charlie Brown’s little sister Sally with a personal introduction to The Great Pumpkin.  She forgoes trick or treating to wait for the Great Pumpkin as he “flies through the air and brings toys to all the children of the world.”  But every year, The Great Pumpkin disappoints, and as Linus puts it, there’s “nothing compared to the fury of a woman who has been cheated out of tricks or treats.”  Now there’s a holiday icon in desperate need of reputation management.   Here are three tips to reestablishing a positive personal brand whether you are a fictional cartoon character, disgraced athlete or corporate executive. 

1)      Determine Your Desired Brand Identity

Before you begin the reputation rebuilding process, decide what you want the essence of your new personal brand to be.  Philanthropist?  Industry expert?  Respected business Leader?  After you’ve determined your desired personal brand, develop a strategy to take action and then communicate to your key audiences.  For example, in the years after Jimmy Carter’s failed presidential re-election bid, he re-branded himself as a humanitarian very successfully through his work with Habitat for Humanity.  As for The Great Pumpkin, I’d recommend taking the same approach as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and finally make good on his toy delivering promise. Continue reading

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