Watch Out, Your Reputation Is Slipping}

Watch out, your reputation is slipping


Jane Herbert

Every organisation or individual has a reputation; it may be big or small, good or bad. Public relations is the process of actively managing reputations. Why bother? Because if you dont take control of managing your reputation, others will do it for you. Thats frightening because the reputation they create for you may not be the one you want or deserve.

Today we have highly sophisticated and demanding customers, an increasingly litigious culture, and citizen journalists so its easy for an organisations reputation to spiral out of control.


But it doesnt have to be this way. A robust reputation management programme can change stakeholder perceptions of a business, address the negative aspects and nurture a positive reputation. Building a strong reputation for a brand is like putting money in the bank. It gives businesses credit with their stakeholders, and they will then give the business licence to do certain things diversify or put its prices up to name just two. And vitally, if that business does tread on a banana skin its positive reputation will act as a buffer helping it to avoid long term damage.

So how do you do it? First, look at the business; what does it do, how does it do it, what does it stand for, how does it communicate currently and therefore how is it perceived by its stakeholders? Is that perception accurate and desirable? Its essential that any messages are rooted in truth, so at this analytical stage its vital to be objective about the current situation and shape the business is in. Any necessary changes to align desired perception and reality must be made as reputation management cant be used as a sticking plaster to cover up and heal the bad parts.

Next the communications strategy is developed to include key messages, positioning statements and brand values to be communicated. Negative issues will also be addressed at this stage so that all communicators have appropriate information and answers readily available should problems and tricky questions arise.

Finally the external activity begins. Media channels, industry bodies and influencers should be monitored to establish what is being said about the business. Customers and suppliers can be surveyed too. Negatives should be addressed. Positive communications can be issued and dialogue entered into with all stakeholders.

This has to be a sustained and consistent exercise, reputations dont go away, they just go bad if theyre not properly monitored and nurtured.

Jane Herbert has nearly 20 years experience in public relations and is managing director of PR agency Pilotmax

Article Source:

Watch out, your reputation is slipping}

Comments are closed.