Reputation management for a large business or corporation should be an essential part of the business plan. Corporate reputation is how your internal and external stakeholders view your business, and this can have a huge impact on your success. According to Deloitte’s Global Survey on Reputation Risk, reputation problems have the biggest impact on revenue and brand value. Respondents who had previously experienced a negative reputation event say the biggest impact areas were revenue (41%), loss of brand value (41%), followed by regulatory investigations (37%).
Indeed, a company that is facing a reputational issue is far more likely to face scrutiny from many different sources including governing bodies, the regulators and the public. Transparency and tackling such issues head-on will pay dividends in the long term.
Perceptions of certain sectors can have a huge impact on the way your corporation is perceived if you happen to be a business operating in such a sector. Opinions are formed by what is read both online and offline, whether the reader has had interactions with your business or not. To help manage this, two-way communication is essential; listening to what’s important to your stakeholders and taking action where appropriate.
If, for example, the sustainability of your sector has been called into question, be transparent and clear about your approach. Be honest in outlining where you have areas that could be improved upon but also highlight the plans you have in place and the efforts you have made so far that could stand you apart from your competitors and boost your reputation. Saying nothing will likely cause stakeholders to think the worst and assume you aren’t doing anything.
When it comes to managing the reputation of a large business, everyone who works within your business who meets stakeholders can have an impact – both positive and negative. This is why you must manage and respond to internal staff or supplier challenges and employee feedback. This has never been more important with the growth of online media – unhappy staff are far more likely to share their experiences in the virtual world.
When it comes to the leaders within a business, the senior management team should always be on the same page and understand the opportunities and threats to your business. If they are responding to a crisis, they should be fully briefed and have the backing of their team.
Having a credible team as the face of the business and acting in its best interests will help ensure reputational threats are minimised.
As a large business, you may face many potential threats to your reputation – perhaps the work environment of your factory has been called into question or a system or process has failed to result in a faulty good. It could be negative responses to developments within your business, for example, plans to expand or relocate. How you communicate such news must be carefully considered.
As a large business or corporation, you don’t know what events are around the corner that could potentially damage your reputation but you can plan how you will formulate a response to such an event or crisis. How and who responds to such events is critical in protecting your reputation.
When you run a large corporation, chances are you have had to deal with system failures, disgruntled employees and dissatisfied customers at some point in your business life. Just as important as what the crisis is, is how you respond to it. Stakeholders will remember what you said and the steps you took to right any errors of judgement. Transparency and a considered response are key.
There are many proactive steps you can take to help ensure you maximise positive sentiment and plans you can make to protect your reputation. The process should be a long-term strategy involving two-way conversations with stakeholders and regular monitoring of threats to your business.
Speak to our team of experts at Reputation Matters to help you prepare for the unexpected, or if you are facing an immediate threat to your reputation, we can help you get the most positive outcome.
My business was facing a torrent of unfair criticism on Facebook. It stemmed from one negative post by an ex-employee and escalated like wild fire. Your level-headed, practical advice helped get the negative comments removed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I thought the problem would go away if I ignored it. It didn’t. I was reluctant to use you but can honestly say, your support and advice helped pull me back from the brink. Your patience, clarity of thought and advice were just what I needed to get me through the emotional roller coaster.
Your calm and steady approach was everything I needed when my business was being unfairly criticised in the national press. You stopped me from responding in haste, which I realise now, was the worst thing I could have done! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
One of my co-directors was found guilty of drink driving. I was concerned that if it got out, we’d suffer from negative press and loss of business. As it happened, there was no backlash but being able to contact you and have some pre-prepared statements and letters ready was reassuring.