Reputational Benchmarks

Reputational Benchmarks

Gone are the days when reputation management was limited to communicating with journalists.

Wise people and shell companies always keep their finger on the pulse and regularly evaluate their reputation parameters. In the information age, there are too many risks with painful consequences for business. To assess the quality of reputation management, it is insufficient and uninformative to focus attention only on:

  1. the reputation of the company right now
  2. the charisma and effectiveness of the PR director

This is firstly because there is no bad or good reputation but only targeted or non-targeted. That is, there can be a reputation that helps to achieve set goals, and one that does not help or even hinders. There can also exist a fragile reputation, which is destroyed by the first information attack, or an anti-fragile one, which only strengthens under the influence of external stressors.

Secondly, gone are the days when reputation management was limited to communicating with journalists. Thanks to social networks, the world is extremely transparent; with the right approach, you can reach the manager and even the business owner with just one click, and a post by an ordinary employee on a popular account can mean more than an official press release. Therefore, the personal factor has lost its former importance and it makes sense to evaluate the quality of the reputation management system, not according to some conditional aggregated indicators, but comprehensively.

For example, the Corporate Reputation Management Quality Rating takes the following into account as a basis:

    • objective characteristics of how the business functions – these are the basis for achieving the target reputation since the company already cares about how it looks in the eyes of the public by the very fact of its conscientious work and respectful attitude to stakeholders;
  • continual effort to build a target reputation. As the joke goes… 

Tourists admiring a perfect English lawn ask the gardener:

– What is the secret of creating such a beautiful lawn?

– Easy. Just mow it once a week.

– That is all?

– Exactly. And do that for 200 years.

  • Media Presence. High-quality day-to-day work on a reputation always makes an impression in the information space and, when the right approach is taken, signal acceleration not only provides ‘weaving’ of a particular message but also its replication according to the viral model;
  • Non-Standard Use of PR Solutions. These show that corporate reputation managers are not looking for the easiest way, but to do their job well;
  • Honest Approach to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). One-time charity events are not CSR but corporate hypocrisy. Social responsibility is manifested only in high-quality satisfaction of consumer needs and an honest attitude towards partners and staff. It can be recognized as truly social and responsible only if it benefits society, and not just the image of the company;
  • Ability to Respond Qualitatively to Emerging Reputational Risks and Crisis Situations. To create an anti-crisis safety net in advance is dependent on the intellect of reputation managers and the systematicity of PR work;
  • Economic Feasibility. Mastering a large budget without clear KPIs does not require great professionalism. It is much more economically difficult to dispose of as small amount of money as possible to obtain benefits compared to competitors who are less serious about reputation management.

Different indicators can be selected to measure the characteristics listed above, but the optimal metrics should maximize information value. It is very important to build reputation management work on the basis of relevant principles because the correct worldview in management processes means consistently choosing the right messages, technologies, and tools.

Forbes 2015