What Dangerous Liaisons Teaches Us About Reputation Management

In the 1988 movie Dangerous Liaisons we see the intrigue of France’s 18th century Royal court at work. Jaded aristocrats Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich) and the Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) play a dangerous game of seduction to amuse themselves. At the movie’s end we learn what the stakes have been – reputations.

Based on the French novel of the same name, “Les Liaisons dangereuses” is about bored Aristocrats using seduction as a tool in a game of egos. It ends badly for everyone. 

Here are 3 things Dangerous Liaisons teaches us about maintaining a good reputation:

1) Gossip will hurt you – The Marquise is undone by letters she writes. At the end of the movie they are made public, exposing her schemes. In much the same way, what you post online could come back to haunt you. In 2016 it’s cheaper to buy new digital storage than to get rid of old files. So that poorly thought out blog entry you wrote could have a long life. Also worth remembering – it only takes seconds for someone to snap a screenshot with their phone. Think twice before you post.

2) Lies will come back to haunt you – At the movie’s end we learn the Marquise and Vicomte de Valmont have feelings for each other, feelings they’ve been doing their best to hide for a long time. The lesson here is that telling lies and half truths about yourself will come back to haunt you. Fibbing on a resume, or about your education, are lies that are easy to uncover. All it takes is a phone call or e-mail. 

3) What You’ve Spent a Lifetime Achieving can Be Undone – By film’s end, the Vicomte de Valmont is dead and the Marquise’s reputation ruined by the exposure of her letters. No matter how much good work you’ve done in your field, a misstep still has the potential to ruin your reputation. In practical terms this means thinking before committing something to paper or posting online. If what you’ve written backfires on you, it can happen quickly. The damage may take a long time to repair.

Fortunately there is a way to address damaging information about you and your business online. Professionals in the field of Reverse SEO have ways to manage online posts that hurt your bottom line. Retaining the services of a Reverse SEO specialist is a reliable, proven way to manage your online reputation.



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