In-house Issues: Prep Your Rep

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It’s now official. You can hire an online service, Reputation.com, to protect your rep on the worldwide web. I partook in the quick scan offered on the site and came back with a low negative rating (whew!) but was informed that that could change at any moment (OMG!).

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This new reality should serve as a cautionary tale to in-house designers who ignore marketing themselves and handling their personal PR at their own peril. The sad fact that “perception is reality” holds just as true for the politically charged corporate environment as it does for the internet.

I know, as designers, we all want to be objectively judged on our deliverables but, unfortunately, that’s not the way the real world works. It’s imperative that you manage how you are perceived by your clients, your fellow designers, your managers and your peers in other departments. Below is a short list of tactics to help with this critical endeavor and hopefully keep you from having to log on to an online site to help with damage control.

  • Don’t post, email, or respond to others’ posts in a way that you wouldn’t want your mom to read.
  • Do lunch with co-workers, clients and managers to enhance your personal relationship with them.
  • Hard or confrontational communications should be done over the phone or, better yet, in person.
  • Toot your horn but be sure to spread the credit around and focus on how your achievement benefited the company.
  • Confront co-workers who misrepresent you in a negative light quickly and escalate if necessary.
  • Form strong ties with HR in a way that will enhance your credibility with them.
  • Be kind, be firm, be objective in all your dealings with others at work.

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