Defensive Strategy

Learning from Nina Yoder

30 Oct 2009  

You can learn something very important by doing a Google search on Nina Yoder.

I did the search this evening and got 1,090,000 hits.  Ms. Yoder has certainly made quite a splash in the internet world.

The problem, of course, is that almost all of this publicity is negative. 

Ms. Yoder is a nursing student at the University of Louisville.  Earlier this year she wrote some rather questionable posts on MySpace.  In one post she described a birth noting “…out came a wrinkly, bluish creature, all Picasso-like and weird, ugly as hell, covered in god knows what, screeching and waving its tentacles in the air.”   In another post she explained how she got in trouble in class for her opinion that alcoholism was a choice.  She has colorful views on many subjects. 

University officials, seeing Yoder’s posts, promptly tossed her out of the nursing program.  She sued and eventually won her case in federal court.

While Ms. Yoder is back in the program, her brand has taken quite a hit.  She is apparently a crass, disagreeable individual and a trouble maker to boot.  The 1,090,000 Google hits support the point.  These associations will endure for many years, perhaps all her life.

The lesson here is that one has to be very careful about posting on the internet.  A carelessly written post can quickly take on a life of its own and have a long-lasting impact on a brand.

My advice is simple.  If you are angry and feel the need to vent, you should write a letter or start a journal.  Just don’t post anything that could hurt your brand in the years to come.

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