Building upon the last post in this blog series on Building Resilient Corporate Reputations, we looked at the importance of an aligned organization. We also advocated using a customized approach to reputation management to ensure your company is asking the right questions to the right people. The next key step is for organizations to obtain a 360 degree perspective of their reputation, from people who know the organization well, but also from those who don’t.
Many companies shortchange their reputation strategies by focusing too strongly on particular stakeholder audiences or countries – or by excluding some key stakeholders out of concern that their viewpoint may be too critical. To truly understand reputation risks and opportunities, it is important to have a wide and inclusive perspective that reflects your business reality in a comprehensive way. Ultimately, the aim should be to capture the complexity of the company as much as possible, starting with the most important markets and audiences, and then scaling up over time. The mix needs to reflect the diverse views and issues across the enterprise.
With market selection, consideration should be given to regions where significant operations exist, where brand recognition is strong, where issues are particularly challenging, and where future growth is likely to occur. Each region has its unique viewpoint and understanding this viewpoint will allow the company to tailor its strategies accordingly.
Choosing stakeholder audiences is even more nuanced. Companies should not only consider who can currently affect the company’s standing, but also how one type of stakeholder can influence the views of another. Stakeholder influence mapping (click to expand graphic to the left) may show that a particular stakeholder audience has limited direct interaction with the company, but that their influence on others is strong. In that case, an audience that may have been overlooked actually requires a proper engagement strategy in its own right.
And finally, including those who are critical of the company or who are aware of it only from an arm’s length perspective is as important as including stakeholders who are well disposed to the company and know it well. This peripheral vision – which should also include employee views – is essential to maintaining a good grasp on reputation risks and opportunities.
Building Resilient Corporate Reputations: A GlobeScan Brief and Blog Series
Drawn from our new brief, Building Resilient Corporate Reputations, this blog series explores best-practice solutions to common challenges and shortcomings of corporate reputation management. Whether you need to begin, to evaluate or to re-design your reputation management system, the brief and blog series will help you to assess how fit-for-purpose your current reputation approach may be. Femke de Man, Director, Reputation, introduces the findings in the video to the left.
Download the Brief: Building Resilient Corporate Reputations
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Femke de Man | Director, Reputation | Email | Twitter | Bio
Click here to find out more about GlobeScan’s Reputation Management practice
For twenty-five years, GlobeScan has helped clients measure, understand and build valuable relationships with their stakeholders, and to work collaboratively in delivering a sustainable and equitable future. Uniquely placed at the nexus of reputation, brand and sustainability, GlobeScan partners with clients to build trust, drive engagement and inspire innovation within, around and beyond their organizations.