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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Psst...We KNOW What You Did Last Summer...

It is not enough for companies, organizations and governments to talk about doing the right things any longer.  Instead, customers, investors, tax payers and employees are all looking for consistency of action and deed.  In other words, walking the talk! If you did something wrong, chances are, they WILL find out.

In my last posting I talked about Eisner Amper’s survey of Boards of Directors and the fact that the results indicated that the thing that keeps Boards members awake at night is the worry over what the impact would be of a reputational faux pas or down right blunder.  These Board members are no fools.  Reputational risk and the effort needed to regain reputation after a blunder is serious business and big bucks.  Some may never regain what they once had.  What makes it even more troublesome however, is that there are still many who believe that they can create the right public optic, but act completely different in their deeds, thoughts and actions – particularly to their employees.  In the end, employees won’t stand for inappropriate and down right wrong behaviours by their employers. For example, one of the most common things we see in PR is the leaking of company information by employees who feel wronged or see inappropriate behaviour.

For those that still think that reputation is a mere game and you can take your chances, think again.  Earlier this month RepuStars launched the first ever Dow Jones Index to track and measure the impact of corporate reputation on share price. 

So, now that I have your attention and you know that reputation impacts a company’s share price, what are the top four activities that impact reputation?  Based on Edelman’s Annual Survey organizations, including government should be watching:
  1. the quality of one’s products or services,
  2. the transparency and honestly of one’s business practices,
  3. are you perceived to be an organization that can be trusted; and
  4. just how well (or badly) are you treating your employees.

As I read the on-line news each day I can certainly see organizations that should be paying more attention to these details. 

For more information on ways to protect reputation through social media, be sure to read my latest article, “Social Media Mistakes to Avoid with Public Policy Decisions,” which has just been published in PR News’ Digital PR Guide -  According to PR News you will read articles comprised by “Dozens of the most experienced digital practitioners in the PR discipline provide key insight into must-know topics, from mastering Facebook for your brand, tweeting during a crisis and integrating mobile into your PR plan to the more fundamental issue of optimizing press releases. The guidebook features detailed how-to's about measuring social media results and leveraging online video to engage current and new audiences.”