“Your web footprint is your new business card”: Mathieu Gabaudan teaches e-reputation to our students
A specialist in innovation marketing and lean management, Mathieu Gabaudan helps businesses and individuals to develop. Gabaudan has been a teacher at Montpellier Business School since 2016, and this year he is offering a class on e-reputation to first-year students in the full-time master’s programme and second-year students in apprenticeship.
Why offer a course on the concept of e-reputation ?
“Today everything happens on the internet. A person or organisation’s reputation is created through websites, forums, social media, blogs, etc., and it’s important for future managers to know how to control what’s being said about them or the company they work for. So, in general I start my course by taking concrete examples and using a search engine to see what comes up of my students, because that’s exactly what recruiters will do. This often provokes a reaction, and they become aware that on the web, nothing is lost, and a pseudonym isn’t enough to mask an identity. So we have to pay attention to what we post on professional networks like LinkedIn, as well as more personal networks like Facebook or Twitter. Today we might say that all networks are used partly for professional reasons.”
But can you learn to control communication on the internet ?
“You have to draw on examples and acquaint yourself with good base reflexes. But the truth is there’s no magic bullet. That’s why I always work on several real and telling cases. In the first part of the course, we talk about businesses reputation. A reputation problem is often part of a marketing problem, so we see how to communicate in this situation. Students must put themselves in the place of the communications manager facing a crisis, and propose some ways to act. Of course, businesses also need the right tools to manage their communication.”
Would you say that not knowing how to control your e-reputation is dangerous ?
“Yes! And personal branding is the second part of my course. You can’t imagine all the information that can be collected on you when you go online and chat, share, etc. If social networks are free, it’s because you’re the product, of course. You’re part of big data! So it’s essential to select the information you want to communicate and think beforehand. What’s important for making the right decisions for communication, and this is not just valid on the internet, is to know how to adapt to each situation and gauge the risk compares to the potential consequences, whether for you or for a company. For example, if I decide to put up a personal and committed comment on a controversial topic, first I have to weigh the pros and the cons in order to know whether it is or it isn’t something I should share on my social networks, because a recruiter could see it, and your e-reputation is what could tip the balance.
Is a good e-reputation also an asset for employability ?
“Definitely. I always tell my students: when you graduate, you have to be able to get the job of your dreams, and you can’t let your e-reputation get in your way. So take care of it, make sure you show a coherent image of yourself, learn how to highlight your strengths, and your personal brand will only be an asset during recruitment.”
Thanks to Mathieu Gabaudan for shedding light on his new ‘e-reputation’ class. He will also meet with other students for classes on ‘mobile marketing’ and ‘recruitment 3.0’ !