Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Some Basic Principles of Reputation

I have been attending a number of meetings at which a variety of people talk about reputation. It is interesting how liberally and non-specifically the term is used. It seems that many people suggest that simply doing good public relations or having good corporate advertising will create a good reputation.

The following are some basic principles which should provide guidance for those involved in corporate brand and reputation management that, I hope, will make the discussions increasingly more specific:

1.Brands and reputation are judged within a competitive set and each organization must differentiate from other offerings;

2.An organization needs to behave in trustworthy ways to earn trust and build reputation—communications alone will not do it;

3. Stakeholders decisions are made on specific, immediate needs, and these can change over time;

4.Not all stakeholders are equally important. You must have a way to prioritize stakeholder value and potential risk;

5.Stakeholders are increasingly defining brand(s) and reputation on-line;

6.The objective of brand and reputation management is to deliver measurable returns to your organization.

I will be posting more specific suggestions that elaborate on these principles in future blogs.