Sunday, October 28, 2007
REPUTATION & BRAND MANAGEMENT
“If we picture a company as a living organism, say a tree, then half of the mass or more of that tree is underground in the root system. And whereas the flavour of the fruit and the colour of the leaves provides evidence of how healthy that tree is right now, understanding what is going on in the roots is a far more effective way to learn how healthy that tree will be in years to come.”
……….Leif Edvinsson and Michael S. Malone; Intellectual Capital
Corporate image can be created, but corporate reputation must be earned. Sustaining a competitive brand now relies more on reputation than it did a decade ago: reputation is one of the key sustaining factors. Corporate value can no longer be determined by short-term profit and sales. Long-term, sustainability is the key.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PR AND REPUTATION
Public relations and reputation are intricately linked: PR – more specific issues: media relations, public affairs, crisis management, event management and branding. Reputation management is more holistic in its approach and involves all employees.
BRAND AND REPUTATION
What is the difference between brand and reputation – are they the same?
Brand = promise; Reputation = delivery on the promise.
STRATEGIC APPROACH TO REPUTATION
Since 1980s Three big ideas
n Intellectual Capital (KM)
It is not the strategy itself sometimes, just the way it is executed.
HOW TO DEVELOP A REPUTATION?
Quality of products and services, Passion for brand, Customer relationship marketing, Strong corporate governance and compliance, Integrated risk and issue management, Crisis planning, Corporate responsibility (CR), Strong brand values, experience and communications, Organisational culture and structure, Contract fulfilment, Business presentation and conferences and Customer facing staff.
Innovation, Vision and leadership by CEO, Investor relations and public affairs, Intelligence gathering, Developing media profile, Adaptive and ability to reinvent
Community relations, CEO’s reputation, Core competencies, Establishing networks and alliances, Understand the market, Develop brand experience: “moments of truth.”
Clear strategies and resources, Learning from other’s mistakes, Listening to customers’ opinions, Audit and assurance, Measuring and evaluation, IP protection, Stakeholder analysis, mapping and engagement, Deliver on customer promise, Think global, act local
Organisational Structure, Who talks to who? Final “gatekeeper” responsibilities, Question of internal communications, Vertical to global matrix to e-business network structures.
HOW TO CONDUCT A COMMUNICATION AUDIT
Internal – Management Survey - Employee Survey, External – Stakeholders Survey, Assessment – Gap Analysis – Structural Equation Modelling - Sensitivity Analysis - Competitor Analysis, Strategic Communication Planning, Communication Programme Implementation, Evaluation, Measuring And Monitoring.
Reputation management must be strategic in nature, but must incorporate emergent properties and reporting: involve everyone, not just managers.
Getting organisational structure right and managing structural capital is critical.
Corporations must be innovative, passionate, and adaptive.
Reputation must be viewed as a strategic weapon, emergent and monitored.
Stakeholders’ views must be measured and evaluated.
Reputation management should not stop at senior management and customer facing staff: all employees should be involved.
Brands are the glue of reputation
Develop brand equity internally and externally
Ensure your employees understand your intangible assets
Be proactive with the media
Ensure your brand is not too easily copied or imitable: differentiate by behaviour.
View CSR as a way forward, not a defence mechanism.
Develop first rate corporate governance.
Ask the right questions, then integrate, integrate, and integrate.