the vulnerability of fame 

Personal brand management is a phrase coined by Only to describe what we do to build, nurture and protect the reputations of respected business people and leading public sector figures.

In days gone by it was enough to build and defend the reputation of a company or public sector organisation - not any more.

We live in the age of celebrity and chief executives often attract as much attention as the companies they lead.

It goes without saying that sports, media and showbiz personalities as just as vulnerable as business leaders to unfair and unjust attacks.


A misplaced word, an unfortunate aside or a clumsy action can grab the headlines, undermine a celebrity’s status, severely damage the business leader's reputation and rock the company’s share price.

Remember BP CEO Tony Hayward who only wanted to get his life back following the oil rig explosion which killed 11 and caused serious pollution in the Gulf of Mexico or jeweller Gerald Ratner who joked his products were crap.

What's even more infuriating is the negative coverage which can result from a journalist making mischief, an attack from a rival or slanderous and untruthful gossip which reaches the ears of the press and media.

It’s why many CEOs and media personalities entrust us with their personal brand management and it's why so many public figures opt to have their own personal websites.


In the corporate world, an official personal website might be the answer. It means a CEO can issue news without any journalistic spin. What goes into the public domain are the leader's carefully chosen words.

Journalists and bloggers are simply directed to the CEO's official website where they can download official news releases or statements while broadcast journalists can be catered for with a specially filmed and edited video.

It means crafty reporters don't get the opportunity to put the CEO or chairman on the spot by asking unhelpful, tricky or difficult questions.

Follow the royal lead

Personal websites have long been used by the British Royal Family and it goes a long way to explaining why they are now seldom involved in media scandals.

Prominent business leaders like Sir Brian Souter, founder and CEO of Stagecoach, facilities entrepreneur Lord Haughey and Only chairman Gordon Beattie all have their own personal websites.

They have them because it puts them in control – not the media.



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