NEXCUE Imagination Leadership

Would you please stop destroying your brand reputation?!

Illustration by Gienlee on Envato.com

In one day, we witnessed how a poor choice of words can cripple the brand image of some of society’s most elite celebrities and public figures. While technology affords us the ability to be the author, publisher, and distributor of content, we are also assuming all of the risk. It does not matter if an individual hires a public relations firm or an advertising agency to manage their brand narrative. If the person’s ego is inebriated by their own reflection in the water, you can’t control them from their self-addiction. 

What many of us fail to realize is that you can’t control or predict the response of your audience. No matter how great you think you are, your brand image is not impervious to judgement by the court of public opinion. This is why I strongly urge all of my clients to work with the experts to help craft and curate content before it is released to the public. If you think about how your audience will feel before you disseminate your message, you will be more thoughtful about the narrative. If you are not careful, you may never be able to recover from the unintended consequences.

Resist the urge to let your arrogance deceive you into believing you have power over your audience. You may have the power to deploy messages over multiple communication channels, but your audience has the power to reject and/or censor you in a MATTER OF MINUTES. Your entire brand image can be spray painted with a giant red censorship symbol. 

Knowing this is the harsh reality of our digital world, I am fascinated by how some are willing to risk destroying their entire career and livelihood by smashing the send button. 


I don’t profess to don a halo because I have bombastically lacerated people with my poor choice of language. Waayyyy back when I had more testosterone than emotional intelligence and I was a young director of a marketing department, I called a supplier a F******. Their failure to deliver on time affected my emotions, and I reacted. The CEO of that organization complained to my CEO about my brutish communication. I did not lose my job, but my King Kong-like outburst did blemish my personal brand image. Eventually, I managed to heal the wounds over time. But I had to put forth a Herculean effort to repair my image.

Here are the top five questions I ask myself before I speak, author, publish, and distribute any message:

  1. Is it necessary? This should be a no-brainer, but some people just want to see the vanity metrics. such as likes, shares, and views. Don’t be vain. If it is self-serving, keep it in your journal or in your private notes.
  2. Will it hurt people? If you are not sure if the message will be painful, don’t send it.
  3. Does it add value? You must know what’s important to your audience before you can add value to them. Do the research. Don’t be cheap…hire an expert.
  4. How is this going to be received? People will remember how you made them feel more than anything you say. Feelings do matter. Only dead people don’t feel anything.
  5. Am I communicating in the right way? There is a wrong way to be right. Even the right content can be delivered in the wrong way. Be sensitive to your audience.

While these questions may seem obvious, I have witnessed arrogant, big companies; conceited leaders; and self-centered individuals completely disregard the fact that their communication destroyed their brand reputation and burned their relationships to cinders.

We all make mistakes. But don’t make it a habit to ignore how your message will affect your audience.

Take your cues from me and live a great life! NEXCUE.