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June 12, 2017

The Case Of Gavin Garris

Not thrilled with the results when you Google yourself? Learn about reputation management.

Understanding Online Reputation Management

When Gavin Garris graduated third in his class in 1986 with an acceptance to Brown in hand, his alumni parents could not have been happier. But academia just didn’t do it for him. Despite being smart and his success on the track to law school, the passion was lacking. Gavin, instead, wanted only one thing. Like many 80’s kids Gavin wanted to be a rock star.

In the pre-internet glory days of the 80’s it was possible. Gavin formed a band, practiced hard in his parents garage, and eventually they went on tour. And never turned back. Gavin Glitterbomb took the world by storm as frontman of the glam rock band, The Bath Bombs.

Life was good. Gavin enjoyed years of traveling but eventually it was time to retire and settle down. The Bath Bombs split amicably and agreed to perform annually at the county fair. Gavin applied to law school, making his parents incredibly happy, and the rest was history.

Or Was It?

You’ve probably heard this a million times: everything’s permanent on the internet. And, for the most part, that’s true. But for many people, they don’t realize this until too late. Unfortunately, Gavin didn’t realize it until after sending off applications to places like Harvard. Interviews were hard to come by. Gavin couldn’t see a reason for the constant rejection. Like many people, he posted to Facebook to ask his friends, and fans, what the deal was.

The response was overwhelming. The comment thread filled with screenshot after screenshot of Gavin’s social media posts. Gavin Garris was at The Las Vegas Strip (picture removed for decency standards violations). Gavin Garris drinking from the bottle. Gavin’s friend, John, finally called and spelled it out for him.

The Internet Remembers

Over coffee John explained that all of the things about Gavin on the internet used his real name. That included the particularly risqué article in Rolling Stone. And while Gavin Glitterbomb, glam rocker extraordinaire wasn’t thinking about the future, the Internet wasn’t forgetting his past. Law schools with a reputation for excellence couldn’t take seriously a 50-something guy partying. And their donors and alumni weren’t keen, either.

Luckily for Gavin, John just happened to work in reputation management. Over the course of months the two worked together to improve Gavin’s online reputation. Their goal? To get impressive articles about Gavin that painted him as a competent professional to the forefront of Google. After all, he’d be profiled for his insistence to spend time while touring in public schools teaching kids about the importance of music, and he was one of the biggest donors to the plight of the Galapagos.

This month, join John and Gavin as they break down reputation management: what it is, why it matters, and what you can do to protect your online reputation and put your best foot forward (or your best result first!).

About the expert: Nancy Koziol

Nancy Koziol is the head of content creation at Digital Firefly Marketing. Part of her work includes leading reputation management projects. As a former middle school English teacher and UniServ Director with the National Education Association she knows more about grammar than anyone should. This comes in handy when creating content. Nancy approaches every piece with the same goals: to create valuable, well-written content optimized for SEO. Nancy’s philosophy when it comes to writing content is to go slowly to go quickly. She’s old school and still outlines with a pen and paper before typing anything. She needs this brain to hand connection to write in her most authentic voice. Nancy has a B.A. in English and is a member of the Freelancers Union and American Homebrewers Association.

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