Reputation Risk Must Be Actively Managed
January 6, 2010 Leave a comment
As the survivors begin to emerge from the carnage of the financial crisis of 2008, corporate reputations are once again viewed as a highly valued asset. The primary challenge for these surviving companies is to rebuild trust while managing their reputations in a way that aligns with their corporate strategy. Once they become misaligned, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to bring them back in sync. Here is what Anthony Johndrow had to say in a recent article from Forbes magazine.
Today it’s about balancing the seven dimensions that make up corporate reputation (product/service, innovation, governance, workplace, citizenship, performance and leadership), namely going beyond product and service promises that are still rooted in 20th-century brand-building assumptions. The evolution of the role of chief reputation officer is still in its infancy, but one thing is clear: It’s not about just getting involved in social media, it’s about giving the company a voice in the formation of its reputation.
Every company has a reputation, regardless of whether or not it has a strategy behind it. Thus, today’s reputation stewards must give voice to their companies. If they do not, their reputations will be driven only by accident (as a result of company actions that don’t benefit from expert CRO guidance–see recent financial crisis for numerous examples) and by conversations among people who might not be their best friends. That is a recipe for disaster, no matter who is keeping score.
Many companies may not go as far as creating a full-time chief reputation officer position. However, it is critical that someone is on point for managing a firm’s reputation and that it is actively monitored. In the highly connected and media driven society that we now live, a company’s reputation and brand value can be destroyed in an instant.