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Reputation – The New Cool

Reputation – The New Cool

New Zealand author Hannah Samuel says in the internet age the old fashioned idea of reputation is what can make or break people as never before.

“Reputation is definitely the new cool,” says Hannah, who has spent 20 years in Britain and New Zealand helping people succeed in business.

A former general manager of Enterprise North Shore who now works as a ‘reputation champion’, Hannah has spent years studying the power & influence of reputation.

Her first book Reputation Branding: How to Grow Your Business Without Spending A Cent goes on sale this month.

Her take on current top winners/losers in the New Zealand reputation stakes include:

• Millie Elder – for fronting up over previous P use
• Pacific Blue Airlines – for being a catalyst for cheaper domestic flights
• Annie Crummer – for being a killer Queen
• Lloyd Jones – for making the Booker Prize shortlist for Mr Pip
• New Zealand’s Fire Service – working overtime again on Guy Fawkes

• Auckland City Council – new logo or just plain loco?
• Telecom’s Xtra – voted worst ISP in 10,000 internet user survey
• Geneva Finance – another finance company letting customers down
• Trevor Mallard – hitting in the middle of an anti violence campaign
• The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand – for action against The Joneses

Hannah believes that reputation branding has now come of age. She received rave reviews for her message when she attended the National Speaker’s Association conference in San Diego within recent months.

She’s got special concern for young New Zealanders who are casting what potentially could be a long shadow over their future careers with indiscriminate postings on social networking sites like YouTube and Facebook.

In an era where the internet and mobile phones rule, reputation can travel very far, very fast says Hannah who has been called in to consult with Auckland schools on the subject (

“Young people are media savvy in that they are really at home with the new technology, but they haven’t yet developed the wisdom to see what they say about themselves can hurt their lives and careers in the long term.

“Young people think what they write on Bebo or Facebook doesn’t matter, but when I talk to schools I give them graphic examples of how it does.”

She has hundreds of examples about how people with shining lives have ruined their chances with one wrong move and how good businesses have gone bad for the same reason. She knows the biggest reputation killers – and ways people can effectively turn around bad personal press to make a comeback.

Hannah says the once old-fashioned quality of protecting your reputation has come full circle and is now considered a cool new philosophy.

“Reputation is definitely a double-edged sword,” says Hannah. “The public’s expectations are constantly changing. The very things that create celebrity status can become out of favour in an instant … as the fluctuating fortunes of many New Zealand celebrities have shown.

“Regularly we see successful New Zealand business and individuals fail to keep in touch with what people are thinking and suddenly find themselves falling out of favour. That can hurt bad – financially, career-wise and emotionally.”


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