Anyone who cares about their reputation should keep in mind that social media is a publicly accessible, incredibly easy-to-publish networked space in which opinions and news travel freely and quickly.

This ease of access means that ANYONE can publish. It is also easy to stay anonymous, which means that people are not shy about airing their opinions and gripes, whether these are provable or not.

Bloggers will talk about anything. Bad press could come from many places – disgruntled ex-employees, malicious or unethical competitors or unsatisfied clients. If these claims are legitimate, you can usually repair goodwill with honesty and positive action. If they are unfounded, you deserve the right to defend yourself. In both cases, some kind of response is the best way to prevent and minimise any damage to your reputation.

Because news travels very fast on the internet, negative opinions need to caught quickly if a response is going to be effective.

So who needs to monitor their reputation online? Anyone who cares what is being said about them. Anyone who has spent time and money building their reputation. And anyone who believes they deserve a fair chance to answer potential threats to their good name.