Reputation, Reputation, Reputation08/01/18
“Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.” William Shakespeare, Othello.
The concept of reputation is nothing new and neither is the need to look after it - Shakespeare knew it and that was way before businesses were made or broken by an inappropriate Tweet or Snapchat message. The best companies know that having a good reputation is a key differentiator between them and the competition, which is why they invest in having their own communications functions, or have a PR agency on tap.
In this era where traditional media is cluttered and social media allows companies to take charge of their brand narrative and connect directly with their stakeholders, the field of reputation management, PR and corporate communications can seem increasingly confusing. Communications platforms are continually changing – where it was once about the power of the 140-character tweet, then the impact of an insta-image, now it is all about telling your story through short videos, and so it will go on.
Regardless of which social media platform you choose for your business communications, your customers and employees want to hear authentic voices and so taking charge of your business narrative is more necessary than ever before.
In a post-truth world, people warm to organisations who cut through the proverbial, ditch fancy jargon and work hard to be relevant to them. Through good PR, you can stand out in your sector by being visible and have an opinion on things that matter most to your stakeholders, be them existing or potential employees, investors, customers or authorities.
If you are planning your 2018 business goals, I am sure you will be considering what you want to be known for…perhaps you want to be the brand of choice in your industry to beat your competition, or you want to challenge and raise the standards of something that matters in your sector…maybe you just want to be better known for what you work hard doing year in, year out.
Whilst social media enables you to connect directly with an audience, in a world where people are increasingly politically savvy and socially aware, you still need to approach with caution. Let’s face it, we are all tired of the brands that clog up our newsfeeds with random marketing messages ‘sold’ to us as news.
Whatever your reputation goals are, it will take more than just broadcasting through your own digital channels to truly speak to your audience. By being on the right side of relevant issues and events, and having a voice when it matters, you can have proper engagement which will enhance your reputation. People want to hear from real people telling interesting stories and sharing their opinions, rather than reading about faceless corporate entities who broadcast messages without purpose.
And let’s not forget the potential reputation damage that can easily occur with the single click of a button…when the CEO of Snapchat can even get it so horribly wrong, it is a real risk to every business, big or small. If you haven’t got a plan in place for an inadvertent social media mishap in your business, now might be the time to do so. Having a ‘top drawer’ crisis communications plan which explores your potential PR vulnerabilities, along with pre-prepared responses could make all the difference.
Social media outrage can occur in minutes and by the time many businesses end up responding to negative issues, the reputation damage has been done. So, having that crisis plan literally in your top drawer might be the one thing that saves you losing business, or at the very least, sleep.
So, if you’re interested in making 2018 the year you put your business reputation front and centre, then please get in touch…I’d love to help.