WeWork. Enron. Volkswagen. Wells Fargo. Uber. What comes to mind when you read this list of (in)famous company names? Scandal. The reasons these highly-successful brands went from best-in-class to tabloid headline may seem varied, but ultimately, they had the same root cause: These companies didn’t place a priority on proactive reputation management.
Reputation is all about trust; it’s about how the whole company is viewed and perceived by society, customers, stakeholders and the market as a whole. A strong reputation is important because it builds a strong relationship with your customers. But, unfortunately, most leaders currently use reputation management only to mitigate damage during a scandal that’s already occurred.
Instead, leaders should be looking to proactively build and maintain a positive reputation so that if there were a scandal, trust is already built with the community.
As an advisory board member of CRO-Counsel, a reputation management network, I have witnessed firsthand what makes proactive reputation management so difficult, and advocate that every company has a chief reputation officer. With over 80 factors that create a strong brand perception and reputation, leaders can often feel uncertain or overwhelmed about where to begin or how to wrap their arms around the concept.
But despite the challenges, ignoring reputation management can be a costly mistake. Here are the five biggest reasons why your leadership team needs a dedicated chief reputation officer.
- Reputation is even more critical in the digital era.