The goodwill earned by an individual or organization through its activities over a period of time is described as a business (or individual’s) reputation.

Importance of Reputation

The survival of a business depends greatly on its reputation. The confidence and faith of a consumer have a profound and direct effect on the bottom line of a company. In contemporary developments such as the crises faced by corporations such as Toyota and BP and how they dealt with publicity in order to maintain their goodwill across the world delineates the importance that business reputation has gained all the more attention.


Businesses have relied on publicity through word of mouth since historical times. This has helped in establishing, building and maintaining positive relations. In a technological age of blogs, websites and social networking – businesses need to be in control of their reputations in order to be quick in responding to a crisis. Indeed, the reputation of business translates into the ability to do more transactions and maximize profits.

Effects of Damage to Reputation

A damaged reputation can cost an individual or organization significantly.

    • Individuals

In cases of individuals, the first and most strongly affected domain is that of livelihood. Defamed individuals come into notoriety for all the wrong reasons, which cause many to terminate their association with them, whether it be personal interactions or business endeavors. Employment is usually the first tangible harm associated with a loss of reputation. This may lead to disruption of livelihood and widespread humiliation.

    • Organizations

Businesses that become victims of defamation are likely to lose out on goodwill – in the books and in real life. This further causes a drop in sales/business operations and a loss of productivity in the long run. It also leads to a lot of negative publicity through word of mouth which further damages its prospects.


Repairing Damaged Reputation

It is never an easy process to repair a reputation that has been damaged. However, a well-planned strategy can be very useful in the long run.

It is integral to recreate the corporate / brand image by redefining position and shaping negative opinion into positive. This can be done by acknowledging the accusations that have been made. It is then important to falsify the accusation be citing the court ruling.

Creating a game plan that will dictate how you go about with the rebuilding process, is the next step. Experts from different fields such as PR, social media marketing, personal branding, attorneys and lawyers can be employed. Develop a well-equipped strategy that helps you enter into a new phase with confidence.

The Cease & Desist Letter

Cease and Desist Letters are commonly used in cases of defamation or infringement of intellectual property rights.

They are usually the first measures taken against the group or individual engaging in damaging the person’s reputation. It typically consists of a command to halt the action, a reason why that should be done, and a legal avenue that may be taken against the accused if they were to be incorrigible.


There are instances where the receiver feels that they are not wrong in posting the statement in question. They will then send a response that describes their objection. This is the starting point of the litigation process.

Cease and Desist letters are served best when they are drafted by an attorney in the law firm’s letterhead. The cease and desist letter gives an opportunity to the tort-feasor to stop wrongful action without reprisal. The cease and desist letter informs the perpetrator that additional legal action will ensue if the act or acts do not stop. If the cease and desist letter does to correct the wrongful acts, then the next step in the litigation process would be the filing of a lawsuit. A typical cease and desist letter drafted by an attorney costs about $500.

For additional information on reputation management, please see our Expungement and Record Sealing Page.

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