A guide to reputation management, according to Mario Balotelli

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There’s very little that Mario Balotelli does, or doesn’t do, that fails to make the headlines – think fireworks in bathrooms, emergency toilet breaks at a Manchester school, flashy vinyl car wrapping, never mind his on-field antics!

Pushing that catalogue aside, it was actually a radio interview with the footballer’s agent that caught my attention and got me thinking about the whole issue of reputation management.

Mino Raiola – deemed by some to be controversial himself – claimed last night that Mario might quit the UK, following a four match ban for an alleged stamp on Spurs midfielder, Scott Parker. Raiola was inferring that Mario is being victimised because of his ‘colourful’ reputation.

As someone who’s tasked with handling reputation management for other people, I started to wonder whether we actually make a conscious decision about steering our reputation, or whether it just naturally evolves.

Personality plays a huge part, particularly when it comes to individuals such as Mr Balotelli. But, how often do businesses sit down and decide on how they’d like to be perceived and whether their current image is appropriate or not? As a PR consultancy, it’s pretty high on our agenda, but for many it’s probably not.

In Mario’s case, he seems to thrive on his ‘bad boy’ reputation, so I guess he should take the rough with the smooth. I’m not suggesting that an edgy, unpredictable and frankly volcanic reputation would work for a business, but it’s essential to have a clear identity that you’re willing to stand by and exploit to the max.

I suspect that Mino’s little outburst is just another deliberate chapter in the life and times of the Man City striker.