A positive brand reputation is essential for any organisation looking to increase sentiment, visibility and achieve long-term growth.
Once considered the remit of traditional communications functions, reputation management is fast becoming a collective effort at board and management level across functions including finance, HR, customer service, product development, and legal.
Communication begins at home
Before creating and implementing strategies to effectively manage and protect reputation externally, organisations must first take a look at their characteristics, values, and core messages they want share with internal audiences; many organisations don’t yet realise their employees can be their biggest advocates.
Transparency and trust are an organisation’s most important assets. Employees who know the business and who understand the roles they play in helping it achieve its goals are motivated to help the company succeed.
Give staff an air of confidence by providing them with a clear direction on short, and long term, plans so they can see where the business is going. Then let employees get back to what they are good at; helping turn plans into reality.
Once employees are on board, engage stakeholders
Building a favourable brand reputation doesn’t happen overnight; it requires a strong and trustworthy identity, strengthened through consistent presence and performance.
Once a strong workforce and performance is established, organisations should ensure business strategies include consistent engagement with key stakeholders; the importance of which cannot be underestimated. They’re the key to influencing people outside of the organisation.
With a variety of stakeholders to engage with, from investors to media to customers, organisations must learn to tailor key messages to the needs of their audience to achieve maximum influence.
Organisations can do that by using traditional communications functions, such as public relations, but they should also take into account the growing prevalence of online communication channels, such as social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, and their ability to rapidly amplify associations about organisations.
More than counting clips
The use of metrics has become an absolute must-have in today’s business environment, but tracking a company’s reputation goes beyond counting clips and mentions.
Measuring the use of key messages cited, sentiment and engagement with influencers, is a great way to track perceptions and conversations people are having about an organisation
Corporate reputation is also a strong measure of an organisations’ perceived market share and future ability for growth. Growth is a key indicator for motivation and therefore, it actually motivates stakeholders to invest in, apply for, recommend or endorse an organisation.
The process of reputation management should be an ongoing one, and should be viewed by organisations as an opportunity to build upon engagement, maintain consistent presence and remain front of mind for key stakeholders and employees.
Check out IMPACT’s work with RAMS [hyperlink to RAMS case study], Holy Family Services [hyperlink to Holy Family Services case study] and LJ Hooker Finance [hyperlink to LJ Hooker Finance case study] for insight on how our team can help manage and improve your brand’s reputation. Please contact IMPACT Communications for more information.