A reputation that took decades to build can be threatened by a single event. Protecting and enhancing this valuable capital asset has become a top priority for companies in today’s changing business environment.
Companies damaged in the throes of the financial crisis have the opportunity to take a leadership position and successfully rebuild their reputations.
Erin Ptacek, Director of Corporate Brand & Reputation at WW Grainger, is a speaker at the marcus evans Corporate Reputation Risk & Management Conference, Philadelphia, 14-15 December.
According to Ptacek, in building a positive corporate reputation, it really starts proactively with an understanding of who a company’s stakeholders are, what their needs are and also what their concerns are.
“I think it is important to have alignment and consistency of messages to these stakeholder groups to understand how the company’s value or message is relevant to the different stakeholders. Another key strategy is really reinforcing the role that employees play in reputation. Employees are really brand ambassadors and are one of the best channels to connect with your stakeholders.
“They reinforce that company brand and what it is the company brings to the various stakeholders. It is also about creating a repeated, consistent experience across the stakeholders. People come to understand what to expect from a company and rely on that company. This then contributes to a company’s reputation, certainly, transparency and open communication,” she says.
A much more determined focus is being taken by companies on protecting corporate reputation in the wake of the financial crisis.
“There were a lot of companies focused on reputation previously but if they weren’t the recent economic challenges have probably heightened awareness of the importance of reputation and what stakeholders expect from companies in terms of reputation. If companies didn’t have a focus on reputation previously probably a lot of what we have seen transpire has heightened awareness around the need for more focus on reputation and how you are connecting with your stakeholders,” she adds.
The marcus evans Corporate Reputation Risk & Management Conference will take place in Philadelphia on 14-15 December.
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