What is corporate reputation management? Corporate reputation management (CPM) is the process of trying to shape public opinion of a business or its products and services via the print and television media. Often common targets of such CRM efforts are negative news coverage of the business, negative publicity especially in the case of an acquisition/merge, and bad press due to mergers and acquisitions. Such efforts can also focus on increasing employee retention and motivation, improving brand visibility, and building client loyalty.
Most businesses have several different ways in which they attempt to manage their corporate reputation. Some focus on improving specific areas, such as increasing customer service, reducing customer complaints, reducing financial risk, and increasing profitability. Other companies develop a comprehensive reputation management plan that includes multiple efforts to improve the business’s public image. However, no matter how large or small a business’s reputation might be, there are specific components that are important in developing a sound strategy to improve it.
When choosing a reputation management provider, the first step should be to select a reputation-enhancing activity or initiative. If a business relies on one or two key employees for positive PR, the best person to hire would probably be that individual’s closest friend. However, if the public is aware of a business’s shortcomings, the most logical candidate for PR assistance will be a senior manager of the operation. Regardless of whom should be employed to handle PR development efforts, it is crucial for a business to establish one or more benchmarks for success.
Once a set of benchmarks has been identified, a corporate reputation management provider can begin to build a plan to improve PR. Depending on the nature of the relationship with a reputation management provider, different approaches may be taken. For example, a small regional firm might seek to partner with a large national, Fortune 100 company to develop positive PR strategies centered on the reputation of specific product lines, services, or target audiences. On the other hand, a large international company might seek to partner with a reputation management firm that caters to a local niche.
In general, a reputation management provider develops positive PR strategies and then implements them. However, some firms develop their own PR strategies, sometimes referred to as strategic branding. These firms approach PR in a more reactive manner, developing marketing campaigns to promote specific brands and offerings while tiptoeing around issues that could tarnish the image of the entire business. While this might seem counterproductive, those who are working to improve a particular brand’s reputation may need to rely on old-fashioned tactics to counter negative stories and rumors. At the same time, though, such tactics can actually strengthen a business’s reputation.
Some corporate executives view a reputation management provider as an unnecessary expense. In addition, some believe that it’s an ineffective way to handle a business’s reputation problems. While it’s true that it can cost some money, it’s worth the expense if it means positive results. For example, a reputation management provider can help develop and launch PR campaigns that help build a company’s reputation. When done properly, it can also help repair damage to a business’s reputation, which can ultimately increase sales.
Of course, it’s not always easy to develop a positive PR campaign. In some cases, it may be necessary for a business to invest in PR – but what good is that, if it’s done poorly? Ideally, a reputation management provider should develop and manage a solid reputation-management plan so a business can address any problems that may arise. As such, it can act as an effective fallback if a business isn’t proactive in addressing negative issues. A reputation manager can even help the company make sure that it takes all the steps to ensure that it does everything possible to repair a damaged reputation.
The bottom line is that maintaining a strong corporate reputation can mean the difference between success and failure. For this reason, it’s important that every organization take steps to protect its reputation and ensure that it develops the best practices for doing so. This includes looking into hiring a reputable corporate reputation management provider. By doing so, a business can be sure that its reputation remains at the top of its game. And, in turn, this helps it attract the customers that it needs to grow.