Yesterday, I talked about how to deal with damaging online rumors and how Hip Hop artist, DeLon, has had to tackle this in a very serious way. Well, with all this new-found experience under his belt, DeLon has some lessons, tips and insights that he wants to share with you, in order to help you protect and prepare your company or organization against a similar fate.
Check out my exclusive interview with artist, DeLon, and what he wants you to know:
Q: What are the main lessons you’ve learned throughout this unfortunate experience?
The most important lesson I learned was that you have to act right away when your reputation is attacked. You can’t ignore it, underestimate its impact or believe it will go away on its own. It won’t.
Secondly, I learned that you have to be prepared. If you believe you are vulnerable to an attack. You have to have a plan in place and be ready to respond. Back then, I was so passionate about the message and making sure the world knew what was happening in my country, what terrorist supporters were saying about me online was the least of my concerns. I shrugged it off as a natural consequence of my political activism, never believing it could have consequences four years later.
Q: What advice would you give to others, from corporations to personal brands, in order to:
1- Protect themselves from having a similar situation happen to them?
I never gave much thought to my online presence before all of this happened, but after going through this experience, I realize how important it is to build your brand online before something happens. Seeing how supportive my Facebook fans have been and how much they’re helping share my story is amazing. Had I had that platform in place four years ago, it would certainly have helped the situation.
2- Defend and protect themselves if they ever have the unfortunate experience of having a similar situation happen to them?
Get a good lawyer and a great crisis management team. Most importantly, take action right away. It’s a lot of work, it’s stressful and you will have to invest some resources to get it done, but when it comes to defending your integrity as a human being, it’s all worth it.
Q: What additional tips/advice/insight can you share with my readers?
Living a life of integrity and honesty is not always enough. In today’s digital world, anyone with a computer and an internet connection can destroy your reputation.
Q: What message do you wish to share with others, in regards to your personal situation?
I want to be very clear that none of the information online linking me to criminal activity of ANY KIND is true. Specifically, the YouTube video created to look like a news report announcing my arrest in Thailand is a complete fabrication. And to top it off, I’ve never even been to Thailand! 🙂
A big Thank You to DeLon for taking the time to answer these questions and to share his invaluable insight and unfortunate experiences with us. You’re a strong public figure, advocating peace, and my respect and hat goes off to you. You’re right, the truth will prevail and you’ll come out of all of this an even stronger artist!
If you’d like to show DeLon your support, please feel free to like and engage with him on Facebook.
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.