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Social networking: dishing the dirt on CEOs

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“We are now living in a world of data, which leaves a trail of online footprints. This data footprint is being generated without us even knowing it most of the time,” explains Andrew Jordan, who set up reputation management company Reputica in June 2007.

“It’s also now a legal requirement for a director to manage their company’s reputation,” adds Jordan.

On the back of that, Reputica decided to launch the CEO search service, which offers a full download of all online articles, chats and blogs written about candidates.

“It’s ended up being a really hot product for us. It’s all around the idea that the 20- something generation, who are playing their lives out on social networking websites, think it’s all a bit of fun – without thinking about the digital footprint they’re creating.

"When they get to 30 or 40 and they go for board positions at large organisations, they’ve put a lot of personal information out there that they’ve actually got very little control over.”

With the increasing propensity for people to capture their commentary online, Jordan stresses the need to be more socially aware of data. “Even sites like Facebook, once the preserve of students, are now increasingly being used by serious businessmen.”

With blogs growing at a rate of 17 new postings per second, it’s not hard to see why the CEOs of big companies are increasingly turning to Reputica to help them track down any digital skeletons.

“As a corporate, it’s no longer enough just to look at your internal data. You need to understand the data that people are creating about you as well.

We’re advising companies how to engage in the Web 2.0 world and the tools needed to do it. Don’t fear the fact this stuff exists, just engage with it and make it work for you,” says Jordan.

Related article: Take control of your brand’s reputationRelated article: Diversify or die

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