Tag Archive for: pr branding

What is reputation management? Reputation management is the art of influencing trust and reputation among stakeholders, such as customers, clients, investors, potential employees, or anyone else affecting a company’s success. Reputation management takes a holistic view of the company’s reputation, from the news on a brand’s Google search to third-party reviews or media coverage, a positive company reputation is its most valuable asset.

Why is a Positive Reputation Important?

Without a positive reputation, all other initiatives, from advertising to an IPO, will be less effective. This is even more true for emerging industries and ambitions brands than for publicly traded companies like Apple and Coca-Cola, which are always on the top brand list.  Why? Because those companies have a long history of trust and positive reputation, it takes more to take them down. But growing companies, who aren’t household names without decades of trust build up need to fight harder to gain and keep a positive reputation. 

 

What is PR’s Role in Reputation Management?

Some might say PR is reputation management, but that’s not quite true. There are a few different departments that could be involved in reputation management. The branding team has a role to play in reputation and trust because branding is more than logos and packaging. A great, well-tended-to brand evokes feelings and allows the target audience to know exactly where you fit in their lives. Product development is another vertical that touches on reputation management. If you launch a product that is deeply flawed or offensive, that will impact your company’s reputation. So, what does PR do for reputation management? This could include:

  • Media Coverage & Media Relations
    Proactive media coverage, whether it be thought leadership for executives or consumer product PR, helps stakeholders gain confidence in the company. After all, fewer than 1% of companies ever receive PR coverage, so if your company is in the media, that’s a significant differentiator. One thing that universally stands out as the responsibility of PR is media relations. PR professionals understand how to talk to the media, whether that means proactive pitching or responding to media inquiries.
  • Content Strategy
    The content strategy could intersect with SEO campaigns, including paid placements or buzzy videos used in presentations, internally and externally.
  • Purpose-Driven Initiatives
    Purpose-driven campaigns and initiatives, from the inside out, can be a collaborative effort between branding and public relations. Both teams are vested in ensuring that any CSG program matches the company’s reputation and that stakeholders, from employees to investors to customers, receive the campaign positively.
  • Crisis Communication
    PR will almost certainly take the lead on creating a crisis communication plan, which every company should have and managing a crisis, should it reach the level of stakeholder awareness. Having a PR team who knows the key media players, and understands how to communicate with them can be the difference between a brand-impacting crisis and a hiccup.
  • Social Media
    From influencers to social media posts, PR often directs social media campaigns to coincide with PR campaigns. But social media may also involve advertising, which traditionally isn’t the purview of PR.

How Important is Company Reputation?

How Reputation Impacts Product Pricing

The more competitive your space, the more important your reputation. If your product is essentially the same as its competitors -iPhone vs. Google phone, for example, or Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi – then PR and reputation management are often differentiators for brands. If you want your company to be the premier one within your vertical, your reputation must match your goals.

Pre-IPO Reputation Management

Whether you’re gearing up for an IPO, or already publicly traded, the value of a company. In fact, according to executives, up to 63% of a company’s value is its reputation.  The fact is, current and future investors have a vested interest in your company’s reputation. Pre-IPO PR can be the difference between a lackluster IPO and an over subscribed one.

 

How Your Reputation Impacts a Crisis

The more your stakeholders trust you, the more likely they are not to overreact to a crisis like a product recall or a careless executive statement. Emerging from a crisis without significant damage has multiple inputs, but there’s no doubt that a positive reputation makes it easier. I call this the trust bucket. When your trust bucket is overflowing, and a crisis takes it down an inch from the top, that’s a whole different scenario than if your trust bucket only had an inch of trust to start. There’s really no substitute for brand trust.

 

Attracting Outstanding Team Members

There’s nothing more frustrating than hiring for a role and receiving dozens of resumes from less-than-attractive candidates. If your company has a good reputation, it will always have access to both active and passive candidates, rather than wasting hours of human resources time. Not only do the best people want to work at the company with the best reputation, they are also most likely to help spread the news without you asking. Let’s face it – employees who care about your company’s reputation are its most valuable employees.

This week, with the Dave and Busters “Juan” tweet yet another social media gaffe made it’s what into the collective conversation. It sparked furious cries of racism. It sparked snickers. It sparked the “holier than thou” media to earn mega points for traffic.

Imagine for a moment, the alternative tweet: “I hate tacos” said no one ever. #tacotuesday.

Imagine what THAT would have caused: crickets.

Which of those  two messages was more brand consistent, more interesting, more compelling and took more courage?

Branding is like getting a tattoo: it takes guts and commitment.

Tweet: Branding is like getting a tattoo: it takes guts and commitment.

This is why brands and businesses must be crystal clear on who they are, what they stand for and who their target customer is. I’m not suggesting that every brand and business rush to the edge of every cultural controversy and insensitivity in order to create some reaction to their message. But in order to make it interesting they HAVE to know where the line is on risk taking. Brands and businesses have to accept that people who AREN’T their customers aren’t going to “get” it and they have to stand with their customers who DO.  If you insist on completely bland copy, messaging and creative, you will get some bland results.

Tweet: If you insist on completely bland copy, messaging and creative, you will get some bland results.

Tweet: Brands and businesses have to stand with their customers who DO “get it”.

I’m actually disappointed Dave and Busters didn’t fire back to the haters with another pun. Dave and Busters is a GAMING VENUE for grown ups. It isn’t a financial company, it isn’t a children’s nonprofit, it isn’t a government agency, it isn’t a church. It’s supposed to be FUN. Taco Tuesdays are supposed to be FUN. I don’t know about you – but I could use a little fun in my tweet stream.

So here’s where we’re at with a collective lack of spine in the social, marketing and advertising world: be creative, be dynamic, create conversation and excitement, but DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TAKE RISKS. Does the marketing and advertising world really want to be known as the analysis paralysis industry whose signature color is beige?

Tweet: Does the marketing and advertising world really want to be known as the analysis paralysis industry whose signature color is beige?

Yes, let’s think through things. Yes, let’s consider context. But let’s stop freaking out the minute someone with 2,000 followers takes issue with an edgy statement. Let’s understand our brands, their purpose, their customers and values and let’s stand by those values even when everyone else doesn’t get it. It’s OK. If you’re brand is truly defined, not everyone will.

Yes, the pain of nasty-gram tweets and email is piercing, they don’t last forever, in fact, in most cases, those very same people are off on an entirely different tangent tomorrow.  Being a wishy washy brand isn’t good for anyone, except dish soap – and those consequences are far longer reaching.

Tweet: Being a wishy washy brand isn’t good for anyone, except dish soap – and those consequences are far longer reaching.
Stand tall. Take smart risks. Stand by your customers. Have some brand confidence. Stand by your brand.