January 2013

5 rules of reputation management

Five Rules for Managing Corporate Reputation


The word “reputation” is being used ever more frequently. Bandied around at board level, referred to in risk departments and conversed about in corporate communications.

Organisations are increasingly coming to understand the link between long-term success and having a strong reputation for financial, social and environmental performance.

However, few organisations truly focus on reputation in a clear and coordinated way.  A fashionable hot potato, it is quoted nervously then passed over quickly for fear that leaders will be forced to admit that their reputation remains a mystery, unknown, unowned and certainly unmanaged.

Organisations that are serious about their sustained success are beginning to realise that the answer lies in the 5 rules of contemporary reputation management.

1. Reconnect.  A contemporary and successful organisation with a strong reputation is highly connected to what it stands for, how it wishes to do business, what it aspires to be and the wider purpose for its existence. This goes way beyond the goal of financial success.

2. Responsibility.  Reputation is earned and the demand for transparency is increasing.  Taking responsibility for putting your house in order is a must to secure long-term success. That means being able to take a long, hard look beyond financial performance towards credentials in matters relating to society, the environment and corporate stewardship.

3. Reality. Get in touch with reality to make your reputation tangible and manageable. Digital capabilities and technologies allow you to understand your reputation better than you have ever done before.  Highly sophisticated tools like the Reputation Fingerprint and Reputation Tracker combine market research, emotion analysis and behavioral patterns that give insight and evidence on how stakeholders are evaluating your business, right now.

4. Relate. Relate to all your stakeholders, not just shareholders. Working hard to see the reputation you hold and to really understand the reasons as to why, doesn’t just enhance reputation it delivers to the bottom line by informing product and service development, heightening levels of innovation and predicting areas of risk.

5. Respond. Reputation changes by the minute. Being responsive to all conversations among stakeholders, allows you to be informed, set the tone, own the issue and more importantly maximize your opportunity to learn, enhance understanding and demonstrate authenticity and honesty.