Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Impostors And Reputation 

For three years, Goldman Sachs has been embarrassed by a person who was posting comments heard in its elevators.  Except, the person wasn't in Goldman's elevators nor was the person in Goldman.  He is an impostor.  Goldman was victimized not by a rogue employee but by someone who has never worked for the firm. While this might seem trivial, it is nonetheless a reputational problem.  On the internet, anyone can pose as anyone else and vilify, mock or otherwise compromise the image of an organization or an individual.  If the impostor is clever enough in covering his tracks, there is no reason for readers to believe that he is anything other than what he says he is.  And, how is anyone to prove that he is not?  There have been impostors through history.  There is nothing new about them.  The difference now is that they have a vast audience.  This fellow had 600,000 followers.  It seems that PR needs more than monitoring to protect clients.  It needs good online tracking skills as well.  Nothing would have stopped this impostor except exposure.  Goldman was successful this time, but what about the next?


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