Getting ahead in the reputation game

Reputation Management Concept on the Cogwheels.Reputation and the importance of a good reputation is well understood; for businesses reputation is a vital and valuable commercial asset, albeit intangible. But how do organisations actively protect their reputation and manage the risks to it being damaged?

That is a harder question to answer. The 2014 Forbes Insights Survey found that 39 per cent of companies surveyed rated the maturity of their reputation risk programmes as “average” or “below average,” and only 19 per cent gave themselves an “A” grade for their capabilities at managing reputation risk. Clearly there is still much to be done – but what? In this blog, I offer some ideas for consideration and debate.

Influencers of corporate reputation 

External perceptions of quality, transparency and trust are key influencers of corporate reputation, as found by research published in the Edelman Trust Barometer (an annual survey of more than 5,000 informed publics in 23 countries), the Fortune 500 listing of the world’s most admired companies and the Reputation Institute. But herein lie the first two problems for reputation risk management.  Reputation is an intangible asset and its gift is in the hands of your stakeholders; both factors make it harder to gauge. Continue reading

Situational Awareness – supporting the CEO’s critical decision-making in a crisis

By Dominic Cockram

Situational awarenessThis blog is the second in a series that looks at the challenges of managing information in a crisis and how to ensure the top team gets the information it needs. The first looked at “Managing the Upward Flow of Information in a Crisis – What Matters Most?” Here managing information to build situational awareness is under the spotlight – how to pull together that cohesive and informative picture that gives the boss just what he needs and no more.

It is a fact that almost all crisis teams find information management one of the greatest challenges in responding to an incident. Why does this matter? It matters because effective information management is the bedrock that allows the critical decision-making by the strategic crisis management team that will lead an organisation out of a crisis.

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Resilience and Crisis Management – what to look for in 2014?

By Dominic Cockram

Opinions on hot topics for 2014As the torrential rain and gales continue and, with the wettest January in UK already recorded, the mind swings to what else 2014 will hold for us within the resilience and crisis management world. Just for starters, we should see the launch of two new British Standards for Crisis Management and Resilience, both borne of the increasingly turbulent world in which organisations are operating and striving for success. I have also compiled a list of the Top 10 topics most likely to influence us this year. Continue reading

Making it count: Aligning crisis management to the organisation’s values

The first in a series of blogs exploring key themes arising from Crisis Management Conference 2013

By Claudia van den Heuvel

A recurring theme from this year’s crisis management conference was that crisis management should be guided by an organisation’s values as much as they guide day-to-day business. An organisation’s strategic mission and values set out the long-term Values direction for a company – where they want to go and how they are going to get there, that is, what strategies and actions are required to achieve that mission. Crisis management is an organisational process that is surely not exempt from this, as every decision made during a crisis should seek to protect the organisation’s core values and help it stay on course to achieving that mission. Continue reading

Crisis Lesson #3 – Communication Integration

By Dominic Cockram

Our recent blog posts on the crises faced at NatWestUlster BankO2 and Progressive Insurance highlighted just how important communications can be during and after a crisis. In a crisis, perception can be more powerful than reality and emotions can become facts: no matter how well your company responds to and resolves an issue, if stakeholders and the public don’t hear this (with a healthy slice of humble pie on the side), your reputation can suffer the consequences.

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Has social media changed strategic-level crisis response? Part Two

By Dominic Cockram 

Part 2 – Yes

After reading Sarah’s response to this question earlier this week, I have to disagree with her conclusions. I think that social media has changed many aspects of a strategic-level response.  However, there are many layers of complexity to this and it is never as straightforward as it seems.

Firstly, it depends on your brand and business.  If you are in retail and fashion then there is a huge shift in the way the strategic team now responds when driven by a social media storm.  Firstly they feel they now need to get decisions out there quickly and show action taking place, they are now listening to what they hear (or they should be) from their detractors and their supporters and using that information to drive and inform their decisions in many cases.  For them, crisis response has undergone a significant change as a direct consequence of social media.

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Has social media changed strategic-level crisis response? Part One

By Sarah Nicholas

Part 1 – No

Social media may have changed the nature of crises, and the speed required for a successful crisis response – but has the advent of Twitter and co. really changed the key tenets of crisis management and core roles and requirements of a top-level, strategic crisis response ‘gold’ team.

I don’t think it has. Controversial, perhaps, but let me explain:

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