The reputation war is one of the modern warfare forms. Its essence is to restrict access to the opponent’s resources needed to implement his plans.
In this context we can say that this is a war in the past to change the future. And it is a war of future development that is unfolding in the past.
The subject’s reputation is based on confidence in its future intentions and on his actions in the past. Hence the war goes on two battlefields at once.
The first battle field is in the past: a change of respondent groups’ attitude to subject’s past actions to undermine the credibility of his intentions. The second battle field is in the future: confidences to the future’s development destroy which is trying to bring the reputation’s subject.
The purpose of both battles is to deprive the subject of the necessary resources for his vision of the future realization. A key factor in the success of results’ evaluation in meeting the reputation attack is the level of confidence (willingness to support) the subject’s intention from key respondent groups.
More chances to win in the reputation war has the subject with such qualities:
- deeply (in the past) and wide (massively in the public mind) interpretation of the history facts fixation;
- vision of the future is both attractive to respondent groups and relies on numerous reliable (secure) facts of the past (more detailed description can be found in the chapter “Retro-correction (self history management)”);
- strategy allows to be as flexible as possible (without contradictions and loss of confidence) in a today’s situation – away from direct confrontation with no loss of speed to achieve the goal (realization of its own vision of the future).
The concept of “reputation war” is closely related to the concepts of “information war” and “propaganda”, but they are fundamentally different in action focus.
Information war and propaganda aimed at world view’s change of a large group of people (social cluster). And reputation war aimed to change attitudes of social clusters (respondent groups) to the subject’s reputation. This step can be conducted within an existing respondents’ world and via its modification. Thus information war and propaganda may be ways to make the campaign for reputation war. And reputation is one of the factors to prevent attacks in information war. But in both cases we are talking about different approaches to the same strategic goal – to attack and to protect the vision of the future.
Common reputation war’s tactics are to identify and to enhance the facts of the past which undermine the credibility of the subject’s intentions in the future.
The most common form of reputation attacks – so-called “sleaze war” – is giving wide publicity to the facts that are considered unacceptable, even vicious in the society.
The offense reveals (or artificially creates) the facts in the history of the subject which in terms of the respondent group undermine confidence in the subject’s reputation. In the case of collective subjectivity these facts may be directed at any member of the team that generates subjectivity reputation.
Effective and most common way to repel such an attack is to timely identify these facts and bring them into the public field with the correct interpretation of the subject’s reputation (more detailed description can be found in the chapter “Retro-correction (self history management)”).
This form’s development so-called “dirt generation” – the subject is motivated to action which could be compromising for him in the future. In fact, it’s the same sleaze war but in subject’s projected past / astronomical future.
The main reception of this form of reputation war is the creation of such information fields’ markers as subtle messages from the current time and / or interpretation of subject’s actions, which are disclosed in the future when it come to favorable terms.
For example, in a situation of business system’s reputation undermining it may be the system information minor violations or careless attitude to customers fix, which become the information attacks’ basis, when favorable external conditions (artificial or natural) occur: worse overall financial situation, claims by government agencies, an internal work imbalance.
This reputational attacks form more difficult to counteract than to deal with dirt. And the key to success is an information field’s systematic observation and analysis to identify those markers and timely reaction to their appearance – the structural response zones’ formation (even if they seem insignificant now).
Another perhaps the most effective form of reputational attack is the “alternative future” formation – the vision of a future in which there is no place for reputation’s subject.
This reputational attacks method uses information wars approaches, working not only with a change in respondents groups attitude to the subject but also actively influences their world view in order to create conflict with the vision of the future promoted by the person attacked.
Reflection and opposition to this form of attack are the most complex and demanding.
They are based both on the protection of interpretations already happened and the facts and events scheduled to happen for the subject while protecting the respondents groups world view of malicious changes.
Typically, this attack form applies at the level of large systems reputations destruction – countries, political associations, and so on.