Table of Contents
Can a film released in 1946 provide clues to repairing a damaged online reputation?
In today’s fast-paced and always-on digital environment, how you are perceived on the internet can have powerful ramifications for you. Your online reputation can open new doors — or keep you from reaching your personal and professional goals.
If you’ve ever asked yourself “how can I fix my reputation online?”, the team at NetReputation can help. Let’s dive into movie history as a case study of how one’s reputation matters, then explore five ways to give your reputation the kick-start it deserves.
Barbara Stanwyck Stars in My Reputation
Released in 1946 by Warner Brothers Studios, My Reputation is a romantic drama set just after World War II. Barbara Stanwyck stars as Jessica “Jess” Drummond, a recent widow struggling to rebuild her life after her husband’s death following a long illness.
In addition to Barbara Stanwyck, My Reputation stars:
- George Brent as Major Scott Landis. Jessica Drummond meets Major Scott Landis during a ski vacation to Lake Tahoe.
- Warner Anderson as Frank Everett, the executor of Jessica’s husband’s estate.
- Eve Arden as Ginna Abbott, a close friend who convinces Jessica to go on a ski trip.
- John Ridgely as Cary Abbott, husband to Ginna.
- Jerome Cowan as George Van Orman, a friend of the late husband who has romantic designs on the widow.
- Leona Maricle as Riette Van Orman, George’s wife.
- Esther Dale as Anna, Jessica’s housekeeper.
Directed by Curtis Bernhardt, My Reputation went on to earn over $2 million in box office receipts, making it one of the top-grossing movies of 1946. Both Barbara Stanwyck and George Brent would go on to star in many other films in their careers.
Although critics decried the movie as a moody melodrama, My Reputation remains one of the most beloved pictures of the post-war era.
Jessica Drummond and Major Scott Landis: Their Story
In My Reputation, Barbara Stanwyck’s character Jessica Drummond experiences the death of her husband after a long illness. The mother of two teenage sons, Jess finds herself a widow struggling to make sense of the world. As she tries to reconnect with old friends, she discovers that many of them remind her too much of her departed husband. Frank Everett, the husband’s attorney, is interested in consoling Jess after her husband’s death, but even he is too similar and Jess regards him as nothing more than a friend.
Encouraged by her closest friend Ginna Abbott (portrayed by Eve Arden), Jess agrees to take a ski trip to Lake Tahoe. On the slopes, Jessica meets Major Scott Landis, the charming Army officer played by George Brent. They immediately hit it off, but Jessica initially repels his advances.
Back in Chicago, Jessica meets the army officer once more at a club. Almost immediately, the rumor mill begins to churn and Jess is the brunt of gossip, including comments from her domineering mother. Apparently, her friends and family believe she has not given enough time since the death of her spouse to enter into a new relationship. Spurred to action, Jess confronts those spreading uncharitable rumors and tells them she will not be deterred from pursuing a relationship with Scott.
The relationship blossoms, but there is one more twist in store for the couple. Scott discovers that he is getting a new duty assignment that will keep him away from Jess. Even though he is going to be stationed overseas, Scott asks Jessica to wait for his return. My Reputation ends with Scott — the George Brent character — departing on a train.
Parallels to Modern Times: Your Reputation Matters
Uncharitable rumors like the ones in My Reputation are only one of many factors that can influence your online reputation. Your reputation may be helped or hindered by the information available about you in online searches. In the movie, Jess was not the victim of an internet smear campaign, but in modern times, this is an all-too-real possibility for individuals and business owners alike. Your online reputation is at the mercy of information in Google searches like:
- News articles
- Social media mentions, including digital gossip on Facebook or Twitter
- Online reviews
- Images and photos in public records or on third-party sites
- Blog posts and website content
When the information is positive, your online reputation is strong, helping you to reach your goals. If that information is negative, however, your reputation could suffer serious consequences, potentially keeping you from getting a new job, securing a home loan, or entering into a relationship with someone new. In simple terms: if you spend any time online, your reputation does matter.
If you have ever asked yourself “why is my reputation damaged, and how can I fix it?”, keep reading for tips on how to repair it.
From Fiction to Fact: Insights into Your Online Reputation
The moody melodrama My Reputation may seem outdated by modern movie standards, yet it contains valuable insights into why your reputation is important and what you can do to protect, reinforce, or repair it if it is damaged.
In My Reputation, Jess Drummond (Stanwyck), the grieving widow, takes charge of public perceptions by confronting her attackers. While this may not be the best course of action in the digital environment, it is important to remember that you are not helpless when your reputation has been damaged by rumors, negative information in search results, bad reviews, or embarrassing images posted to the web.
Act now to take control by hiring an online reputation management professional. The team at NetReputation is ready to help you position yourself in the best possible light while building brand awareness, positive sentiments, and favorable mentions on social media.
Tips for Fixing Your Reputation
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering “when my reputation is at stake, what can I do to fix it? ”
Here are five critical tips that let you say goodbye to negative reputations and hello to a strong, healthy, and positive reputation:
#1: Create a social media account on each of the major platforms
Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn offer incredible opportunities to build your personal brand and to counteract the effects of a damaged reputation. Every like, share, and retweet sends important social signals to the Google algorithm, helping you achieve better rankings for your name. Plus, social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family.
#2: Start a blog or personal website
Websites and blogs are ideal platforms with which you can share information with others. Every piece of new content you post to blogs or websites help build brand awareness and let you showcase your knowledge in any topic. Better yet, positive content helps to replace or suppress negative search results; the new content ranks higher in search results, pushing negative information off the first page. These web properties are so valuable that most online reputation management firms develop blog sites for their clients.
#3: Build a personal or professional brand
Branding is important for businesses that wish to make a mark in their industry. They can also be extremely valuable for individuals who want to increase awareness and shape public perceptions. Don’t know where to start in creating your personal brand? The brand management experts at NetReputation can help. With a personal brand, you will be proud to say “My reputation is stronger than ever!”
#4: Monitor your online reputation
Once you’ve built your brand and secured a positive online reputation, your work isn’t over. Continual monitoring for mentions of your name gives you the ability to identify potential reputational threats before they can cause damage. ORM service providers like NetReputation use automated tools to scour the web for keywords related to your name and brand, including social media comments, online reviews, and more. This efficient tool puts reputation control into your hands.
#5: Get the help of a professional online reputation management firm
Online reputation management can be a challenging process with many components. If you have ever asked yourself “what can I do to repair my reputation?”, the answer is to hire a professional for assistance. ORM firms have the tools and experience to put you in your best light in the digital environment. From review management to public relations, reputation monitoring, and content creation, reputation management services help to get your positive brand visible and strong.
Contact NetReputation Today
After reviewing the tips above and learning a bit about the power of reputation management from the 1946 film My Reputation, you may wish to learn more. NetReputation, the leading provider of customized online reputation management services, is ready to assist you with creating a powerful brand, building your reputation, or restoring a reputation damaged by gossip and negative information in search results.
Act now by calling NetReputation today at (844) 461-3632 or complete the form below for a free consultation with one of our ORM professionals.