Most valuable asset
Reputation is a company’s most precious asset. So why delegate it to the communications department? Yes, communication must play an important role in any reputation management process, but such a process needs to be tightly integrated with the business. Reputation management should be the responsibility of the business owner or CEO. This is vital for the prevention of a reputational crisis that may arise as a result of any business decision, whether it involves product design, marketing strategy, the pricing model, the compensation process, or even market entry or M&A activities.
Reputation management is difficult. It requires a high level of strategic sophistication and mental agility that sometimes runs counter to day-to-day business decisions.
A company’s reputation is shaped not just by its direct business partners, customers, and suppliers, but also by the public at large. This includes not only the media, but also advocacy groups, influencers, regulators, and politicians. A company’s reputation is what others are saying about the company. It is essentially public.
Naturally, there are other factors that affect reputation too – like each and every employee that deals with the outside world and has the power to make or break the company’s status. And the impact of social media that is enormous…but, these two points are a topic for another day…
Reputation management is not just a function, but a capability. It requires the right mind-set, integrated with the company’s strategy, guided by its culture and values, and supported by carefully designed governance and intelligence processes. Developing this capability is as demanding and as challenging as developing customer focus or the ability to execute.
Daily decisions are creating a record that will serve as the basis for the future of your company. How are you managing your reputation?