Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Don’t overlook your business reputation

By Steve Lewis
Published: July 7th, 2009

Deon Binneman, a speaker, seminar leader, and consultant on how to manage and protect business reputations, says that this aspect of marketing is one of several that organizations tend to overlook. “Like all of the intangible assets whose value has escalated in recent years (other examples are talent, knowledge, know-how and intellectual property), reputation has often been overlooked by organizations because it is so difficult to comprehend,” he notes. Often, he adds, “it is only when a reputation incident severely damages the credibility of an organization or one of its brands, or its standing in the eyes of its stakeholders, that the potentially catastrophic consequences of not managing the crisis properly become apparent.” Studies of organizations that have mishandled crises affecting their reputation have identified long-term and irreparable damage to share price, market share and brand value, he says. Many organizations make the mistake of assuming that media training and crisis planning is enough to prevent a catastrophic reputation crisis. “However, a reputation crisis exposes to public and media scrutiny not only the organization’s competence at crisis handling, but the values, standards and shortcomings that existed beforehand,” he explains.

Being proactive about your reputation can stand you in good stead if and when a crisis occurs, and may even help to prevent crises in the first place. Here are some best practices Binneman recommends for reputation management:

  • Develop ways to understand the nature of your reputation.
  • Design and develop a reputation risk management strategy that can act as a roadmap for strengthening risk management in particularly vulnerable areas.
  • Work together with PR, Risk and Compliance departments to close gaps.
  • Develop standards and controls for the action that the strategy places most importance on.
  • Learn how to proactively manage elements of your reputation.
  • Provide reputation management training, education and communication to obtain the vital support and commitment of your employees and managers.
  • Design analysis and monitoring mechanisms to provide early warning of problems or crises.
  • Develop a process of continuous crisis assessment.
  • Conduct regular crisis planning and testing.

Ensure regular reporting and monitoring of reputation risk, including incident analysis, issue management, environmental forecasting and online reputation monitoring.

Go to: Deon Binneman on Reputation

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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