What professionals can do to combat online reputation damage

Over the past thirty years, the internet has played an increasingly intrusive role in the work lives of professionals. This trend can be viewed as especially pernicious when a professional’s license falls under attack. The effects of a complaint or report, easily accessible to anyone with a web browser, can come as a serious blow to one’s professional reputation. And, as any professional knows, reputation is everything.
The advice that the passage of time will serve to alleviate the effects of damage to one’s reputation online may hold a kernel of truth. But there are things one can do in the meantime to help mitigate the problem.
First of all, it can be helpful to act in ways that counteract the negative perception of one’s reputation. This can include doing volunteer work in the community and helping people in other altruistic ways over a protracted period of time. After all, the best counter to a bad reputation is cultivating a good one.
But to take a more direct approach, it is important to familiarize oneself with what is being said in online forums. While viewing this sort of content can be a blow to one’s pride, it is nevertheless necessary to utilize search engines like Google to research content currently connected with one’s name, as well as reviewing sites like Yelp and (for medical professionals) Healthgrades, and the local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau. Then one should save what is found there into an offline format, either by printing it or saving it as a PDF, for personal records.
Important at this stage is resisting the urge to respond in the moment. Knee-jerk reactions have a tendency to make things worse. Instead, one should use the information one finds to formulate an effective strategic response plan. This includes consulting an attorney—because the last thing someone whose license is in danger should do is make a statement about a pending investigation by creating contradictory statements, adding new witnesses, or in any other way compromising the process.
An attorney can also help to determine whether it makes sense to respond to a complaint of harm with an in-person apology—which, when sincere, has been shown in studies to prevent legal malpractice suits.

Professional License Defense

BERTOLINO LLP provides aggressive advocacy for professionals who are facing disciplinary action in front of a licensing board, agency, or commission in Texas. We have consistently won significant cases for podiatrists, other doctors, nurses, lawyers, architects, pharmacists and other professionals dealing with issues that could jeopardize their ability to work. We know how to build a strong case to protect your license – and your livelihood.
Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.
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If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board, contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.

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