Britney Back on Track: Online Reputation Management Tips from the Stars

Reputation Management - Public Relations
It is said that the American public has an unhealthy obsession with being a star. Author of “Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America’s Favorite Addiction,” Jake Halpern, asked hundreds of teenagers what they would change about themselves if they could and found many wanted fame over anything else, including intelligence. Today’s generation lives and breathes the celebrity life from gawking at movies stars hanging out on the red carpet to touring the homes of sports giants.

Not all the stories are inspiring, though. The train wrecks like Lindsay Lohan get just as much attention. With all eyes on them, some of these public figures manage to pull themselves back from the brink to reestablish their careers. Those are the ones that teach society a lesson.

Hitting Rock Bottom can be Inspiring

Robert Downey Jr. (above left) shows that down is not necessarily out, especially if you are willing to ask for help. The Brat Pack actor from the ’80s and ’90s cut a different image than the one many know today. A stormy personal life that included well-publicized drug use overshadowed brilliant screen performances in movies such as “Chaplin” and “Less than Zero.” The actor was in and out of jail from 1996 to 2001 with court-ordered rehab having little effect. During one visit in front of a judge, Downey described his addiction as a shotgun in his mouth, according to

In the spring of 2001, cops spotted the actor wandering through Culver City, California barefoot and high. During an interview with Oprah, Downey explained that he was facing prison for a second time and realized that he needed to ask for help. It was a request that paid off. With hits like “Iron Man,” “Sherlock Holmes” and an Oscar nod for his role in “Tropic Thunder,” he has turned his life and career around while staying on the path of sobriety.

Britney Spears

Mental Health Issues Aside

When Britney Spears (seen above at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards) suffered a meltdown that included shaving her head and attacking paparazzi, many feared it was the end of the Disney stars’ career. It was actually a beginning of what would be a struggle to come back from mental breakdown. Prior to that fateful night, she had been living a dream life. Her career started when she was just 8 years old. As member of The Mickey Mouse Club, she made her way into the hearts of millions. A 1999 cover of Rolling Stone proclaimed her Teen Queen.

After losing custody of her two sons and control of her assets, Spears began to rehab her career despite rumors that she suffered from bipolar disorder. Publicists and identity professionals like online reputation management experts at went about changing her image. Although still struggling with personal issues, Spears has successfully made it back to the stage.

Lance Armstrong speaking at SapphireNow - courtesy Tom Raftery

Lance Armstrong speaking at SapphireNow 

It Helps to be Humble

Lance Armstrong is far from having a positive public image. There had always been doping rumors surrounding cyclist Lance Armstrong, but he had continually taken an arrogant attitude regarding the charges. After scandal rocked his career, he finally took a proactive approach to fixing things by humbling himself.

It wasn’t until he admitted publicly that the allegations were true that his fans could move on. This coming clean was cathartic for those who had supported the athlete through a decade of lies. The scandal continues but it is easier to have sympathy for a man who admits wrongdoing. He even discussed during an interview how he finally told his 13-year-old son the truth. It is likely that moment will stick in people’s minds regardless of what he comes next.


  1. Peter says

    Very sneaky trying to insert two links to in there…obviously these are paid links by them to try to improve their own reputation. (I bet you will remove this comment, but if you don’t remove their links, I will publicize this)

    • Phil Butler says

      @Peter. I guess you can see I have addressed your comment, first off all, by approving it. As for sneakiness, two links which so obviously lead to a named entity can hardly be classified along with PRISM activity in the super secrecy department. Now as to somebody being paid for the links I can assure you and the known world that had a dollar bill touched my palm a disclosure would have adjoined this article. As it is, the group which contributes these posts actually provides great value for our readers with timely and relevant news or tutorials. Did they get paid? To be honest, I did not ask them at all and could care less.

      I think if we wanted to track down every paid link on the web by third parties, then the larger story you might publicize (if anyone would want to read it) would half fill the Library of Congress. But let’s address a more pressing concern of mine here, someone using a threatening tone without so much as identifying who they are or their interest in said links?

      Every day we have to weigh the value of content versus the negative implications. When people come here to my news outlet to criticize, without at least taking a look at what we have done positively to affect the world, now isn’t that the same thing as this editor not tracking down like some dumbfounded blood hound every link to a service in 10,000 posts?

      Oh, I know, I am supposed to quiver in utter fear at the thought of some unknown person writing about contextual links allowed as a courtesy for effort. I tell you what, look to the Huffington Post, Forbes, or 2000 other media outlets who allow editorial or guest posts and chase down the authors’ links, you’ll find armies of pointed pointing to vested interests.

      Maybe you should air your grievances with reputation dot com via a guest post here? Of course I have to edit it to make sure you can write at all, but I assure you if there is merit, then it will be posted as Op-Ed. Otherwise I guess we’ll just take our chances the NSA does not send strike drones over our offices to eradicate the awful terror of guest posts with links to stuff mentioned in the posts.

      I hope this made my editorial policy more clear. We don’t sell links any more than my author badge on 20 media outlets contains any.

      Good day,
      Phil Butler
      Managing Editor – Everything PR News

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