How can you get up-to-speed with online reputation management quickly? I suggest reading the following top-notch articles:
Managing Your Brand’s Reputation Online by Noah Elkin, Ph.D, at About.com
17 Search Engine Reputation Management Optimization Tips by Rob Garner at Search Insider
Ten Ways to Fix a Google Reputation Management Nightmare by Andy Beal at Marketing Pilgrim
If you are looking to have a thorough understanding of online reputation management I think that reading these articles will give you a head start. If your aim is to protect your brand then they will show you what is required as far as monitoring and managing to ensure your reputation remains safe.