4 Things You Need to Know About Your Digital Footprint


To be a successful PR practitioner you need to have an informed digital presence that tells your story and establishes your reputation online. Michael Fertik, co-author of the New York Times best-seller, "The Reputation Economy: How to Optimize Your Digital Footprint in a World Where Your Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset," has explored the meaning of the digital footprint and what it takes to measure it.

Michael Fertik
Michael Fertik

Fertik, the keynote speaker at PR News' Measurement Conference in Washington, D.C., on April 20, shares some key points that you should remember about your digital footprint.

  • Your digital footprint is everything. This is not an exaggeration. We are becoming increasingly defined (not to mention valued) by our digital reputations, and this trend is only going to continue as more data about us becomes available and searchable. The time is not far off when not having a digital footprint will be equivalent to not existing.
  • Your digital footprint is permanent. It is currently easier and cheaper to store data than it is to delete it. This means that for every one of your online actions—positive or negative, deliberate or unintentional—there is a permanent record.
  • Your digital footprint only has meaning relative to other footprints. The real value of your reputation lies in how it compares to others’ reputations. Fortunately, powerful scoring algorithms now make it possible to comprehensively analyze your business and rank it against all other competitors in your field.
  • You yourself only make part of your digital footprint; the rest is made by others. A major part of your digital reputation comes from what others are saying about you online. It’s critical to monitor these conversations proactively, reframe the debate when necessary, and leverage digital tools and platforms (like custom surveys and review-request solutions) to transform satisfied customers into brand ambassadors.

To learn more about your digital footprint and how to measure it, join PR News for the Measurement Conference, taking place in Washington, DC on April 20.

Follow Michael Fertik: @michaelfertik

Follow Richard Brownell: @RickBrownell