Managing reputations in a vacuum is easy. But life is messy — and like sanitation engineers, our job is to make the work environment a little more livable for our execs, stakeholders, and stockholders.

Sometimes all it takes is one wrong click of the mouse. Eric Govan got bounced out of the Golden State Warriors PR department for sending an inappropriate e-mail to a rather large list. Since this happened in the same market as last year’s 49er training video debacle, the effect is somewhat magnified.

Sometimes, the ball bounces in your favor. At the Sundance premeire of “Thank You For Smoking,” Katie Holmes’ anticipated sex scene was nowhere to be found. The explanation is that the projectionist screwed up:

Jason Reitman isn’t mad at the projectionist he said accidentally eliminated Katie Holmes’ sex scene from a screening of “Thank You For Smoking.”

In fact, he joked that he deserves a raise.

Reitman said the mysterious disappearance during the Sundance Film Festival has been great publicity for the movie. He also understands why some people prefer to think Tom Cruise ordered him to cut the scene. Reitman said the problem with the term “projection error is that it’s the truth but it sounds like a lie.”

As it stands, that little bit of publicity may pique some needed curiousity. It’s not like Katie has millions of people thinking she’s been brainwashed by Tom’s Scientology buddies or anything.