"Reputation management is nonsense!"... so said Rupert Younger, Director of the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation at the ICCO conference. Given that there is an entire industry called "reputation management" that is a pretty big statement. 

So why is it nonsense? Because he points out that your reputation does not belong to you. Reputation is the combined opinions of other people. You can't 'manage' it, it simply isn't yours to manage. You can, of course, influence it.

In the TEDx video below, Andrew Grill, Managing Partner at IBMSocial, describes the now entirely commonplace act of reading reviews online, before reading the adverts. The consumer of the future, his daughter, is, in effect, reading the reputation of a firm before listening to the firms version of themselves. Even though the reviews are by total strangers, they are still prefered to the edited version.

So how can we influence reputation? In his talk, Rupert stressed the crucial role of trust, and authenticity as the key component in building trust. 

Content marketing whether through big ticket events or the humble tweet, is attempting to build trust - in your firm's integrity and in its knowledge of its domain. It is all about attempting to influence the 'reviews'.