Image and Reputation

There is a big difference between image and reputation. Image, is what you project to other people. It is also what people tell you. Reputation is the view of the people who know you.

In an organizational context, having a good image is good. But having a good reputation is better. Companies who lose their good reputation also loose good opportunities at the end of the day. People want companies that have a good reputation especially regarding the quality of the company’s products. It is important that companies take care of their reputation so they would keep their customers as well.

Personal Image and Reputation

However, this is not really the main concern of my post today. Today’s post is revolves on image and reputation in the individual level. Like companies, people should also take care of their reputation. Because of social networking sites, people had become open to  sharing their thoughts and ideas on the internet. This is not a bad thing. But we must remember that whatever is posted on the internet can be available to anyone.

Status messages, blog posts, photos, videos, and other information about you can be t seen once your name is Googled on the internet. So who’s interested in these information? Your friends? Maybe yes. But the people who usually do this are the ones involved in your employment, the Human Resources personnel.


Let me talk about the concept of foreverism. According to the urban dictionary, the term foreverism refers to something that continues forever. If place this in the context of the internet, anything that you post or is something posted about you will remain there forever unless it is deleted. It’s good if you posted the content yourself, you can delete it, but what if it’s posted by someone else? If it  says something not so good about you, then you have no access to it. A good example for this are the scandals of celebrities. Once, they are exposed, news are immediately posted by gossip websites. The content on the websites will remain there and these can be seen by their future children and grandchildren.

Personal Branding

The contents that are posted about us become our personal branding. It doesn’t matter if we posted it ourselves or if it was posted by someone else. As long as it is about us, then a part of our personality is reflected by it. It becomes are marketing strategy to get accepted or not get accepted by the organizations we apply for. The contents written and captured about us says a lot of things. That’s why we should always be careful of our actions think twice before posting something on the internet.


3 thoughts on “Image and Reputation

  1. Somehow, I felt that the concept of reputation varies in degree depending on the culture at hand.

    In the Philippines for example where controversies spread like cold virus, it dies just as quickly. Sure, the evil ones would always throw you with some embarrassing stories from the past to put you down (crab mentality) but really, what mostly matters to us is the concept of here and now.

    Maybe in more conservative countries like China and Japan, reputation is a forever thing. It’s meant to be kept sacred and free from stains because rising back from the dumps is not a one-day job.

    Realizing this, I felt both thankful and worried. Thankful because we are more understanding as a collective culture but worried because we easily forget and then later regret.

  2. I think your point on foreverism is very striking. And it’s true that we can’t do much about what people post about us online unless we file a suit or something like it. But otherwise, it makes sense then for us to not just be careful of what we do online. We also need to be careful of anything we do “offline” since these things can easily be translated to online content–by other people!

  3. “We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.”

    Couldn’t have said it any better! As you said, image and reputation are two different things. You know what? Awareness is the keyword here and MONITORING is the star. Organizations should be aware of their ideal self and self-concept are aligned otherwise, there’s an identity crisis. With NSM along the way, it’ll be easier to monitor those two. How we are perceived affects the way people deal with us. We can feel if there is something wrong by having a check and balance online. Researching what people are talking about you, what kind of reputation you have in order to help you adjust your image. 🙂

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